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rifle1

[rahy-fuh l] /ˈraɪ fəl/
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 of rifle1
1745-1755
1745-55; < Low German rīfeln to groove, derivative of rīve, riefe groove, flute, furrow; akin to Old English rifelede wrinkled

rifle2

[rahy-fuh l] /ˈraɪ fəl/
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
Related forms
rifler, noun
Can be confused
riffle, rifle.
Synonyms
1. See rob.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rifled
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The art of warfare had, meanwhile, in many respects, become revolutionized by the introduction of rifled arms.

  • He had rifled the pockets of both the dead men, and this was their contents.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • They then rifled my person, taking away everything that I had, leaving me nothing but my trowsers and shirt.

    Peter Simple Frederick Marryat
  • I am convinced that these marks were left by the man who rifled the papers.

    The Return of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The box was empty when we found it, and we think someone located it before we did, and rifled it.

    The Eight-Oared Victors Lester Chadwick
  • Then they searched us and rifled us of any things we had in our pockets.

    In the Forbidden Land Arnold Henry Savage Landor
  • A projectile from a rifled gun in the fleet got to tumbling "end over end" in the air.

  • They had been rifled of all they possessed and their clothes were torn and dirty.

    In the Forbidden Land Arnold Henry Savage Landor
British Dictionary definitions for rifled

rifle1

/ˈraɪfəl/
noun
1.
  1. 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
  2. (as modifier): rifle fire
2.
(formerly) a large cannon with a rifled bore
3.
one of the grooves in a rifled bore
4.
(pl)
  1. a unit of soldiers equipped with rifles
  2. (capital when part of a name): the Rifle Brigade
verb (transitive)
5.
to cut or mould spiral grooves inside the barrel of (a gun)
6.
to throw or hit (a ball) with great speed
Word Origin
C18: from Old French rifler to scratch; related to Low German rifeln from riefe groove, furrow

rifle2

/ˈraɪfəl/
verb (transitive)
1.
to search (a house, safe, etc) and steal from it; ransack
2.
to steal and carry off: to rifle goods from a shop
Derived Forms
rifler, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French rifler to plunder, scratch, of Germanic origin
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 rifled

rifle

n.

1775, "portable firearm having a spirally grooved bore," used earlier of the grooves themselves (1751), noun use of rifled (pistol), 1680s, from verb meaning "to cut spiral grooves in" (a gun barrel); see rifle (v.2).

v.

"to plunder," early 14c. (implied in rifling), from Old French rifler "strip, filch, plunder, peel off (skin or bark), fleece," literally "to graze, scratch" (12c.), probably from a Germanic source (cf. Old English geriflian "to wrinkle," Old High German riffilon "to tear by rubbing," Old Norse rifa "to tear, break"). Related: Rifled; rifling.

"to cut spiral grooves in" (a gun barrel), 1630s, probably from French rifler, from Old French rifler "to scratch or groove" (see rifle (v.1)). Related: Rifled; rifling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
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