rift

[ rift ]
/ rɪft /

noun

verb (used with or without object)

to burst open; split.

QUIZZES

DON’T VACILLATE! VANQUISH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

It’d be a real faux pas to miss this quiz on the words from August 3–9, 2020!
Question 1 of 7
What does “vacillate” mean?

Origin of rift

1250–1300; Middle English <Old Norse ript breaking of an agreement (compare Danish, Norwegian rift cleavage), derivative of rīfa to tear (cognate with rive)

OTHER WORDS FROM rift

riftless, adjectiveun·rift·ed, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH rift

riff, rift .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for rift

  • Through the rifting smoke, we could see their line sway to and fro; then it broke like a thaw in a great river.

    The Secret Service.|Albert D. Richardson
  • Glitter on the mountain heights you rifting specters bright.

    The Secret of the Creation|Howard D. Pollyen

British Dictionary definitions for rift (1 of 2)

rift1
/ (rɪft) /

noun

a gap or space made by cleaving or splitting; fissure
geology a long narrow zone of faulting resulting from tensional stress in the earth's crust
a gap between two cloud masses; break or chinkhe saw the sun through a rift in the clouds
a break in friendly relations between people, nations, etc

verb

to burst or cause to burst open; split

Word Origin for rift

C13: from Old Norse; related to Danish rift cleft, Icelandic ript breach of contract

British Dictionary definitions for rift (2 of 2)

rift2
/ (rɪft) /

noun US

a shallow or rocky part in a stream
the backwash from a wave that has just broken

Word Origin for rift

C14: from Old Norse rypta; related to Icelandic ropa to belch
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

Scientific definitions for rift

rift
[ rĭft ]

A continental rift.
A narrow break, crack, or other opening in a rock, usually made by cracking or splitting.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.