- 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 rifleMore 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 RiflesMore 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.
verbBack to top
- 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 barrelsMore 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.
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.
- 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 moneyMore 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.
- 1.1 [with object] Steal: he rifled the dead man’s possessionsMore 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.
Middle English: from Old French rifler 'graze, plunder', of Germanic origin.