a. A rocky shoal or sandbar lying just below the surface of a waterway.
b. A stretch of choppy water caused by such a shoal or sandbar; a rapid.
c. A wave or ripple in such water.
a. In mining, the sectional stone or wood bottom lining of a sluice, arranged for trapping mineral particles, as of gold.
b. A groove or block in such a lining.
3. Games The act or an instance of shuffling cards.
v. rif·fled, rif·fling, rif·fles
1. Games To shuffle (playing cards) by holding part of a deck in each hand and raising up the edges before releasing them to fall alternately in one stack.
2. To thumb through (the pages of a book, for example).
1. Games To shuffle cards.
2. To flow in rough waves or become choppy, as water.
(click for a larger image)riffle
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.