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rifling

2 [rahy-fling]
noun
the act or process of ransacking or robbing.

Origin:
rifle2 + -ing1

rifle

1 [rahy-fuhl]
noun
1.
a shoulder firearm with spiral grooves cut in the inner surface of the gun barrel to give the bullet a rotatory motion and thus a more precise trajectory.
2.
one of the grooves.
3.
a cannon with such grooves.
4.
(often initial capital letter) rifles, any of certain military units or bodies equipped with rifles.
verb (used with object), rifled, rifling.
5.
to cut spiral grooves within (a gun barrel, pipe, etc.).
6.
to propel (a ball) at high speed, as by throwing or hitting with a bat.

Origin:
1745–55; < Low German rīfeln to groove, derivative of rīve, riefe groove, flute, furrow; akin to Old English rifelede wrinkled

rifle

2 [rahy-fuhl]
verb (used with object), rifled, rifling.
1.
to ransack and rob (a place, receptacle, etc.).
2.
to search and rob (a person).
3.
to plunder or strip bare.
4.
to steal or take away.

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English rifel < Old French rifler to scratch, strip, plunder

rifler, noun


1. See rob.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
rifle1 (ˈraɪfəl)
 
n
1.  a.  a firearm having a long barrel with a spirally grooved interior, which imparts to the bullet spinning motion and thus greater accuracy over a longer range
 b.  (as modifier): rifle fire
2.  (formerly) a large cannon with a rifled bore
3.  one of the grooves in a rifled bore
4.  (plural)
 a.  a unit of soldiers equipped with rifles
 b.  (capital when part of a name): the Rifle Brigade
 
vb
5.  to cut or mould spiral grooves inside the barrel of (a gun)
6.  to throw or hit (a ball) with great speed
 
[C18: from Old French rifler to scratch; related to Low German rifeln from riefe groove, furrow]

rifle2 (ˈraɪfəl)
 
vb
1.  to search (a house, safe, etc) and steal from it; ransack
2.  to steal and carry off: to rifle goods from a shop
 
[C14: from Old French rifler to plunder, scratch, of Germanic origin]
 
'rifler2
 
n

rifling (ˈraɪflɪŋ)
 
n
1.  the cutting of spiral grooves on the inside of a firearm's barrel
2.  the series of grooves so cut

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

rifle
1775, "portable firearm having a spirally grooved bore," used earlier of the grooves themselves (1751), noun use of rifled (pistol), 1689, from verb meaning "to cut spiral grooves in" (a gun barrel), 1635, probably from Fr. rifler, from O.Fr. rifler "to scratch or groove" (see rifle (v.)).

rifle
"to plunder," 1326 (implied in rifling), from O.Fr. rifler "strip, plunder," lit. "to graze, scratch," probably from a Gmc. source (cf. O.E. geriflian "to wrinkle," O.H.G. riffilon "to tear by rubbing," O.N. rifa "to tear, break").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Rifling refers to spiral grooves that have been formed into the barrel of a
  firearm.
He was pistol-whipped and knocked to the ground, and the bandits began rifling
  through his pockets.
Rifling a missile, so no part of its skin gets any long exposure.
The idea of rifling a barrel to make it shoot truer and harder was not new, to
  be sure.
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