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or rille

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noun Astronomy.
  1. any of certain long, narrow, straight or sinuous trenches or valleys observed on the surface of the moon.
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Origin of rill2

1885–90; < German Rille; see rill1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for rille

Historical Examples

  • The main street crosses a narrow bridge, beneath which the quickly running current of the Rille or Risle flows.


    G. E. Mitton

  • But the whole way from the castle to the Rille is blocked with modern buildings.

  • Normandy, throughout the whole of its extent, can scarcely boast a lovelier stream than the Rille.

  • The small village of St. Sanson is situated upon the right bank of the Rille, within a league of its mouth.

  • The Rille, in every part of its current, is varied by an infinity of islands, formed by the division of its waters.

British Dictionary definitions for rille


  1. a brook or stream; rivulet
  2. a small channel or gulley, such as one formed during soil erosion
  3. Also: rille one of many winding cracks on the moon
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Word Origin

C15: from Low German rille; related to Dutch ril
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 rille



"small brook, rivulet," 1530s, from or related to Dutch and Frisian ril, Low German rille "groove, furrow, running stream," probably from Proto-Germanic *ril- (cf. Old English rið, riþe "brook, stream," which survives only in dialects), a diminutive form from PIE root *reie- "to run, flow" (see Rhine).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper