follow Dictionary.com

8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

rife

[rahyf] /raɪf/
adjective
1.
of common or frequent occurrence; prevalent; in widespread existence, activity, or use:
Crime is rife in the slum areas of our cities.
2.
current in speech or report:
Rumors are rife that the government is in financial difficulty.
3.
abundant, plentiful, or numerous.
4.
abounding (usually followed by with).
Origin
1150
before 1150; Middle English; Old English rīfe; cognate with Middle Dutch rijf abundant, Old Norse rīfr
Related forms
rifely, adverb
rifeness, noun
overrife, adjective
unrife, adjective
Can be confused
rife, ripe (see synonym study at ripe)
Synonyms
3. plenteous, multitudinous; teeming, swarming.
Antonyms
3. scarce.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for unrife

rife

/raɪf/
adjective (postpositive)
1.
of widespread occurrence; prevalent or current: rumour was rife in the village
2.
very plentiful; abundant
3.
(foll by with) abounding (in): a land rife with poverty
Derived Forms
rifely, adverb
rifeness, noun
Word Origin
Old English rīfe; related to Old Norse rīfr generous, Middle Dutch rīve
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for unrife

rife

adj.

Old English rife "abundant, common, prevalent," from Proto-Germanic *rif- (cf. Old Norse rifr, Swedish river, Norwegian riv, Middle Dutch riif, Middle Low German rive "abundant, generous"), said to be from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut" "The prevalence of the word in early southern texts is in favour of its being native in English, rather than an adoption from Scandinavian." [OED]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for rife

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for unrife

0
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for unrife