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

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

rifler, noun

1. See rob.
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World English Dictionary
rifle1 (ˈraɪfəl)
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
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)
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]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

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.)).

"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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