[ rif-uh l ]
/ ˈrɪf əl /

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


Origin of riffle

1630–40; blend of ripple1 and ruffle1

Related forms

un·rif·fled, adjective

Can be confused

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

Examples from the Web for riffling

  • One must be careful in riffling through history to draw insights for policy-making going forward: the lessons don't always apply.

    Absent American Pressure|Ali Gharib|September 17, 2012|DAILY BEAST
  • He had pulled a deck of cards from his hip pocket, and now was riffling them with pointed interest.

    Bred of the Desert|Marcus Horton
  • It consists of riffling between the selected cards the proper number of indifferent ones.

    Sharps and Flats|John Nevil Maskelyne
  • You could save a lot of time by taking carbon copies, suggested The Phantom, riffling the sheets lying beside the machine.

    The Gray Phantom|Herman Landon

British Dictionary definitions for riffling


/ (ˈrɪfəl) /


(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