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riley

[ rahy-lee ]
/ ˈraɪ li /
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adjective Chiefly Northern and North Midland U.S.

turbid; roily.
angry; vexed.

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of riley

An Americanism dating back to 1795–1805; rile + -y1

Definition for riley (2 of 2)

Riley
[ rahy-lee ]
/ ˈraɪ li /

noun

James Whit·comb [hwit-kuhm, wit-], /ˈʰwɪt kəm, ˈwɪt-/, 1849–1916, U.S. poet.
life of. life of Riley.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for riley

British Dictionary definitions for riley (1 of 2)

Riley1
/ (ˈraɪlɪ) /

noun

Bridget (Louise). born 1931, English painter, best known for her black-and-white op art paintings of the 1960s
Gina . born 1961, Australian television actress and writer, best known for playing 'Kim' in the comedy series Kath & Kim (2002–07)

British Dictionary definitions for riley (2 of 2)

Riley2
/ (ˈraɪlɪ) /

noun

the life of Riley a luxurious and carefree existence

Word Origin for Riley

C20: origin unknown
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

Idioms and Phrases with riley

riley

see life of riley.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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