• Reef

    Pronunciation

    • IPA: /riːf/
    • Rhymes: -iːf

    Origin 1

    From Middle English ref, hreof, from Old English hrēof ("rough, scabby, leprous", also "a leper"), from Proto-Germanic *hreubaz ("rough, scabby, scrubby"), from Proto-Indo-European *kreup- ("scab, crust"), related to Old English hrēofla ("leprosy, leper"). Cognate with Scots reif ("a skin disease leaving crusts on the skin, the scab"), Old High German riob ("leprous, scabby, mangy"), Icelandic hrjúfur ("scabby, rough"). Compare riffe, dandruff.

    Alternative forms

    Full definition of reef

    Adjective

    reef

    1. Scabby; scurvy.

    Noun

    reef

    (plural reefs)
    1. (Now chiefly dialectal) The itch; any eruptive skin disorder.
    2. (Now chiefly dialectal) Dandruff.

    Origin 2

    From earlier riff, from Middle English rif, from Old Norse rif ("rib, reef"), from Proto-Germanic *ribją ("rib, reef"), from Proto-Indo-European *rebh- ("arch, ceiling, cover"). Cognate with Dutch rif ("reef"), Low German riff, reff ("reef"), German Riff ("reef, ledge"), Old English ribb ("rib"). More at rib.

    Alternative forms

    Noun

    reef

    (plural reefs)
    1. A chain or range of rocks, sand, or coral lying at or near the surface of the water.
    2. (Australia, South Africa) A large vein of auriferous quartz; hence, any body of rock yielding valuable ore.
    3. (nautical) A portion of a sail rolled and tied down to lessen the area exposed in a high wind.
    4. A reef knot.

    Verb

    1. (nautical) To take in part of a sail in order to adapt the size of the sail to the force of the wind.
    2. (Australian) To pull or yank strongly.
    3. (nautical, of paddles) To move the floats of a paddle wheel toward its center so that they will not dip so deeply.Reef the paddles.

    Anagrams

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