There are 2 definitions of reef in English:

reef1

Line breaks: reef
Pronunciation: /riːf
 
/

noun

1A ridge of jagged rock, coral, or sand just above or below the surface of the sea.
More example sentences
  • Below are beautiful coral reefs, turtles, sharks and a clean ocean floor.
  • To illustrate the point, Knowlton offers the example of coral reefs, which she describes as the most diverse ecosystems in the world.
  • Mostly we dived shallow coral reefs in the order of 12m deep and less.
Synonyms
shoal, bar, sandbar, sandbank, spit; ridge, ledge, shelf, atoll, key; barrier reef, fringing reef; Scottishskerry; in Spanish Americacay
1.1A vein of ore in the earth, especially one containing gold.
More example sentences
  • Apparently, three of the Struben brothers' workers were among those who struck gold in the main reef.
  • The city's population grew during that decade from 70,000 to over 500,000, as fortunes were won and lost on the nearby gold reefs.
  • The story of gold is told in a bus tour taking in the site where Harrison identified the gold reef in Langlaagte.

Origin

late 16th century (earlier as riff): from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch rif, ref, from Old Norse rif, literally 'rib', used in the same sense; compare with reef2.

Definition of reef in:

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Word of the day glee
Pronunciation: glē
noun
great delight

There are 2 definitions of reef in English:

reef2

Line breaks: reef
Pronunciation: /riːf
 
/
Sailing

noun

Each of the several strips across a sail which can be taken in or rolled up to reduce the area exposed to the wind.
More example sentences
  • We had to sail her with ‘two reefs in’, a reduced sail area for the rough conditions.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Take in one or more reefs of (a sail): reef the mainsail in strong winds
More example sentences
  • Early on, the wind filled to 18 knots and the yachts were forced to reef their mainsails and change headsails under difficult conditions.
  • Captain Valentine ordered his men to reef the sails and lower the anchors, while he once again reminded Jose and the young boy about their jobs.
  • Tahr perched herself precariously on the window ledge watching the evening activity along the wharves: fishing boats being tied, cargo being unloaded, sails being reefed and mended.
1.1Shorten (a topmast or a bowsprit).
More example sentences
  • Even if the sails were incomplete, couldn't they have been reefed down, rip-stopped, patched, or sewed?

Origin

Middle English: from Middle Dutch reef, rif, from Old Norse rif, literally 'rib', used in the same sense; compare with reef1.

Definition of reef in: