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riff1

[rif] /rɪf/ Jazz.
noun
1.
a melodic phrase, often constantly repeated, forming an accompaniment or part of an accompaniment for a soloist.
verb (used without object)
2.
to perform riffs.
Origin of riff1
1930-1935
1930-35; perhaps alteration and shortening of refrain2
Can be confused
riff, rift.

riff2

[rif] /rɪf/
verb (used with object), Informal.
1.
rif.

Riff

[rif] /rɪf/
noun, plural Riffs, Riffi
[rif-ee] /ˈrɪf i/ (Show IPA).
(especially collectively) Riff.
1.
a member of the Berber people living in Er Rif in northern Morocco.
2.
Related forms
Riffian, adjective, noun

rif

or riff

[rif] /rɪf/
verb (used with object), riffed, riffing. Informal.
1.
to discharge (a person) from military or civil service, especially as part of an economy program.
Origin
1945-50; special use of RIF

Rif

or Riff

[rif] /rɪf/
noun
1.
Er
[er] /ɛr/ (Show IPA)
a mountainous coastal region in N Morocco.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for riff
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By common consent, Miss Amy had always been presented with the largest vegetable marrow that riff could produce.

    Notwithstanding Mary Cholmondeley
  • In the riff he might be potted at, he might not: he would risk that.

  • Off the beaten track and anywhere in the riff country his life would not be worth a flus (small copper coin).

  • To explore the unknown riff country would be interesting indeed.

  • The punishment inflicted on the riff pirates was soon forgotten, and they continued their depredations on British commerce.

British Dictionary definitions for riff

riff

/rɪf/
noun
1.
(in jazz or rock music) a short series of chords
verb
2.
(intransitive) to play or perform riffs in jazz or rock music
3.
(informal) to speak amusingly or make (amusing comments or remarks)
Word Origin
C20: probably altered and shortened from refrain²

Rif

/rɪf/
noun
1.
(pl) Rifs, Riffs, Rifis, Rif, Riff, Rifi. a member of a Berber people, inhabiting the Atlas Mountains in Morocco
2.
Also called Rifian, Riffian (ˈrɪfɪən). the dialect of Berber spoken by this people
3.
See Er Rif
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
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Word Origin and History for riff
n.

"melodic phrase in jazz," 1935 (but said to have been used by musicians since c.1917), of uncertain origin, perhaps a shortened form of riffle, or altered from refrain. The verb is attested from 1942, from the noun. Also in extended use. Related: Riffed; riffing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for riff

riff 1

noun

  1. An improvised passage, esp a solo; break, lick: an initially funky bass riff (1917+ Jazz musicians)
  2. A solo passage of any sort: He never inflates a movement, never accelerates into showy riffs of excess energy (1917+ Jazz musicians)
  3. A particular variation or version: I have actually eaten something called a pastrami burrito dog, sort of a riff on the oki dog (1990s+)
  4. A piece of personal behavior, esp of entertainment; shtick: allow the star to do character riffs that approximate the sort of things she does as monologues in her one-woman show/ He can make out the riffs and scams of the inner city like a dog picking up a scent (1980s+)

[origin unknown; perhaps echoic; perhaps fr refrain; perhaps fr riffle or ripple in the sense of ''try, shot, crack'']

riff 2

noun

A refrigerator car; reefer1 (1950s+ Railroad)

rif

noun

  1. A dismissal; layoff
  2. A demotion

verb

  1. To notify an employee of dismissal or layoff: when he receives his Reduction in Force letter, and he will say, ''I've been riffed''
  2. To demote: had been ''rif'd'' back to sergeants

[1953+; fr reduction in force]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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riff in Technology

file format
Microsoft's equivalent to the Amiga's IFF files format. RIFF is used for WAV and AVI files.
(1995-04-21)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Related Abbreviations for riff

RIF

1.
reduction in force
2.
resistance-inducing factor
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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10
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