[rif-uh l]

verb (used with or without object), rif·fled, rif·fling.


Nearby words

  1. rifamycin,
  2. rifaʿiya,
  3. rife,
  4. riff,
  5. riffage,
  6. riffler,
  7. riffola,
  8. riffraff,
  9. rifle,
  10. rifle bird

Origin of riffle

1630–40; blend of ripple1 and ruffle1

Related formsun·rif·fled, adjective

Can be confusedriffle rifle

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for riffle

British Dictionary definitions for riffle



(when intr , often foll by through) to flick rapidly through (the pages of a book, magazine, etc), esp in a desultory manner
to shuffle (playing cards) by halving the pack and flicking the adjacent corners together
to make or become a riffle


US and Canadian
  1. a rapid in a stream
  2. a rocky shoal causing a rapid
  3. a ripple on water
mining a contrivance on the bottom of a sluice, containing transverse grooves for trapping particles of gold
the act or an instance of riffling

Word Origin for riffle

C18: probably from ruffle 1, influenced by ripple 1

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

Word Origin and History for riffle



1754, "to make choppy water," American English, perhaps a variant of ruffle "make rough." The word meaning "shuffle" (cards) is first recorded 1894, probably echoic; hence that of "skim, leaf through quickly" (of papers, etc.) is from 1922. Related: Riffled; riffling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper