Dictionary.com

riff

[ rif ]
/ rɪf /
Jazz.
Save This Word!

noun

a melodic phrase, often constantly repeated, forming an accompaniment or part of an accompaniment for a soloist.

verb (used without object)

to perform riffs.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!

In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of riff

First recorded in 1930–35; perhaps alteration and shortening of refrain2
riff , rift

Definition for riff (2 of 2)

Riff
[ rif ]
/ rɪf /

noun, plural Riffs, Riff·i [rif-ee], /ˈrɪf i/, (especially collectively) Riff.

a member of the Berber people living in Er Rif in northern Morocco.
Rif·fi·an, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for riff

riff
/ (rɪf) music /

noun

(in jazz or rock music) a short series of chords

verb

(intr) to play or perform riffs in jazz or rock music
informal to speak amusingly or make (amusing comments or remarks)
C20: probably altered and shortened from refrain ²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Learn A New Word Right Now!