Definition of rife in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /rʌɪf/


1(Especially of something undesirable) of common occurrence; widespread: male chauvinism was rife in medicine
More example sentences
  • Spyware is rife and virus infection commonplace yet many home users reckon they are safe from online threats.
  • There is no substance in the allegation that unlawful access of phone lines is rife or commonplace.
  • Street lights fail to work, litter is strewn everywhere, vandalism is rife, and adolescents roam the streets aimlessly.
widespread, general, common, universal, extensive, ubiquitous, global, omnipresent, everywhere, present everywhere, pandemic, epidemic, endemic, inescapable, insidious, prevalent, penetrating, pervading, pervasive, permeating, immanent
rare permeative, suffusive, permeant
1.1 (rife with) Full of: the streets were rife with rumour and fear
More example sentences
  • Mitchelstown was rife with rumours yesterday of an impending announcement.
  • The American media is rife with rumours that the King of Pop will skip the country as soon as he is free.
  • It is a town rife with corruption, from city hall on down, and teeming with houses of ill repute.
overflowing, bursting, alive, swarming, teeming, seething, lousy;
abounding in, abundant in, overrun by, full of


In an unchecked or widespread manner: speculation ran rife that he was an arms dealer
More example sentences
  • Speculation has run rife on all sorts of mad theories about who will get up in each state.
  • Rumours ran wild and rife but the band would not play together again until 1993.





Late Old English rȳfe, probably from Old Norse rīfr 'acceptable'.

Words that rhyme with rife

fife, Fyfe, knife, life, pro-life, still-life, strife, wife

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: rife

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.