There are 2 main definitions of rifle in English:

rifle1

Line breaks: rifle
Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɪf(ə)l
 
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noun

1A gun, especially one fired from shoulder level, having a long spirally grooved barrel intended to make a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance: a hunting rifle
More example sentences
  • If you might have to fire a rifle or shotgun indoors, keep your hearing protection near the gun.
  • If infantry attacks on foot, defending troops cut off infantry from tanks and destroy it with machine-gun and automatic rifle fire.
  • For many of the British the battle resembled Mons: determined infantry assaults prepared by heavy shellfire, met with accurate rifle fire.
1.1 (rifles) Troops armed with rifles: [in names]: the Burma Rifles
More example sentences
  • Prussian military rifles first mounted sword bayonets in 1787 and the armies of most other countries followed suit over the following 30 or 40 years.
  • Johnston initially intended to create a black battalion that would include a Mobile company comprising Gilmer's rifles and additional troops.
  • On the Moroccan side, security services with shotguns and rifles with fixed bayonets have met migrant workers.

verb

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1 [with object] (usually as adjective rifled) Make spiral grooves in (a gun or its barrel or bore) to make a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance: a line of replacement rifled barrels
More example sentences
  • The term is, however, also correctly applied to heavy rifled ordnance of the howitzer class used for coastal defence by some nations, though few ever saw use in 1939-45.
  • All Gamo air rifles have a rifled steel barrel, trigger safety and spring-piston action and are grooved for a scope.
  • From the mid-19th century all military weapons had rifled barrels and the term rifle was restricted to the long-barrelled weapon of the infantryman.
2 [with object and adverbial of direction] Hit or kick (a ball) hard and straight: Ferguson rifled home his fourth goal of the season
[ 1940s: from rifle 'gun', suggestive of explosive speed; compare with the verb shoot]
More example sentences
  • He was high on some passes and rifled the ball too hard on some short routes.
  • Dixon concentrated on quick-recovering skills of the goalkeepers as he constantly rifled the ball from angles.
  • Jamie Barrow concluded the scoring when he scampered onto Smith's pass to rifle the ball past Knowles.

Origin

mid 17th century: from French rifler 'graze, scratch', of Germanic origin. The earliest noun usage was in rifle gun, which had ‘rifles’ or spiral grooves cut into the inside of the barrel.

Definition of rifle in:

There are 2 main definitions of rifle in English:

rifle2

Line breaks: rifle
Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɪf(ə)l
 
/

verb

[no object]
1Search through something in a hurried way in order to find or steal something: she rifled through the cassette tapes [with object]: she rifled the house for money
More example sentences
  • As the victim, who is partially-sighted, sat helpless in her wheelchair, the men rifled through all the rooms in the house before stealing money from her handbag.
  • He then managed to keep her occupied while he rifled through the property in search of the cash savings.
  • Whoever did it was obviously looking for cash because they went through all my possessions and rifled through all the drawers in the house.
Synonyms
rummage, search, hunt, forage, sift, rake;
ransack, comb, turn upside down, scour
1.1 [with object] Steal: he rifled the dead man’s possessions
More example sentences
  • It is believed the thieves rifle letters for money or anything they can cash in, with birthday cards particular targets.
  • The 18-year-old thug snatched his victim's bag and rifled his wallet before punching him in the face on the bridge across the River Avon.
  • Dressed in his Garda tunic, the thief asked the woman for identification and rummaged through her handbag before rifling some cash.
Synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French rifler 'graze, plunder', of Germanic origin.

Definition of rifle in: