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rift

[rift] /rɪft/
noun
1.
an opening made by splitting, cleaving, etc.; fissure; cleft; chink.
2.
an open space, as in a forest or cloud mass, or a clear interval.
3.
a break in friendly relations:
a rift between two people; a rift between two nations.
4.
a difference in opinion, belief, or interest that causes such a break in friendly relations.
5.
Geology.
  1. a fault.
  2. a graben of regional extent.
6.
the plane or direction along which a log or mass of granite can most easily be split.
7.
wood or a piece of wood that has been split radially from a log.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
8.
to burst open; split.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Old Norse ript breaking of an agreement (compare Danish, Norwegian rift cleavage), derivative of rīfa to tear (cognate with rive)
Related forms
riftless, adjective
unrifted, adjective
Can be confused
riff, rift.
Synonyms
3. breach, rupture, estrangement, falling-out.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for riftless

rift1

/rɪft/
noun
1.
a gap or space made by cleaving or splitting; fissure
2.
(geology) a long narrow zone of faulting resulting from tensional stress in the earth's crust
3.
a gap between two cloud masses; break or chink: he saw the sun through a rift in the clouds
4.
a break in friendly relations between people, nations, etc
verb
5.
to burst or cause to burst open; split
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse; related to Danish rift cleft, Icelandic ript breach of contract

rift2

/rɪft/
noun (US)
1.
a shallow or rocky part in a stream
2.
the backwash from a wave that has just broken
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse rypta; related to Icelandic ropa to belch
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 riftless

rift

n.

early 14c., "a split, act of splitting," from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish and Norwegian rift "a cleft," Old Icelandic ript (pronounced "rift") "breach;" related to Old Norse ripa "to break a contract" (see riven). Figurative use from 1620s. Geological sense from 1921. As a verb, c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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riftless in Science
rift
  (rĭft)   
  1. A continental rift.

  2. A narrow break, crack, or other opening in a rock, usually made by cracking or splitting.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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