Definition of rift in English:

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Pronunciation: /rift/


1A crack, split, or break in something: the wind had torn open a rift in the clouds
More example sentences
  • For some at least, this recognition would produce a psychological rift, a split subjectivity imploding with the violent impact of sameness.
  • Savarics Uzumaki finished the staff and opened the dimensional rifts to allow passage into a new home for demons.
  • Disagreement over economic policy opened ideological rifts among Iran's ruling elite.
crack, fault, flaw, split, break, breach, fissure, fracture, cleft, crevice, cavity, opening
1.1 Geology A major fault separating blocks of the earth’s surface; a rift valley.
Example sentences
  • Extension associated with lengthening of the Himalayan collision orogen is accommodated by small graben and rifts almost at right angles to the strike of the collision zone.
  • The major rift eventually developed west of Scotland (present orientation).
  • Dextral slip was not responsible for opening most of the rift basins in Thailand.
2A serious break in friendly relations: their demise caused a rift between the city’s town and gown
More example sentences
  • There is a serious rift between the players and the governing body.
  • The meeting revealed a serious rift between them that may result in violence.
  • News of a rift between the friends is believed to be accurate, with the rumour leaking out at one point last month that the latter had left the company altogether.
breach, division, split;
quarrel, squabble, disagreement, falling-out, row, argument, dispute, conflict, feud;
informal spat, scrap


[no object] chiefly Geology
1Form fissures, cracks, or breaks, especially through large-scale faulting; move apart: a fragment of continental crust that rifted away from eastern Australia (as noun rifting) active rifting in southwestern Mexico
More example sentences
  • An active origin is suggested because volcanism and uplift appear to have preceded rifting, an active plume passing over a large area.
  • By the beginning of the Cretaceous, the supercontinent Pangea was already rifting apart, and by the mid-Cretaceous, it had split into several smaller continents.
  • As envisaged by Robertson et al. continental fragments rifted from Gondwana in Triassic time.
1.1 [with object] (usually as adjective rifted) Tear or force (something) apart: the nascent rifted margins of the Red Sea
More example sentences
  • Dismembered counterparts of the Beysehir-Hoyran Nappes further east are restored as a Triassic rifted margin.
  • Finally volcanic rocks spread over its surface as the Slave protocontinent was rifted apart about 2.8 billion to 2.7 billion years ago.
  • Mid-Cretaceous faulting is observed along the Ran ridge, whereas the axis of the Paleocene rifted zone is shifted slightly further to the west in the Voring margin.


Middle English: of Scandinavian origin; compare with Norwegian and Danish rift 'cleft, chink'.

Words that rhyme with rift

adrift, drift, gift, grift, lift, shift, shrift, sift, squiffed, swift, thrift, uplift

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rift

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