American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A strip or ridge of rocks, sand, or coral that rises to or near the surface of a body of water.
- n. A vein of ore.
- n. A portion of a sail rolled and tied down to lessen the area exposed to the wind.
- v. To reduce the size of (a sail) by tucking in a part and tying it to or rolling it around a yard.
- v. To shorten (a topmast or bowsprit) by taking part of it in.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A low, narrow ridge of rocks, rising ordinarily but a few feet above the water. A reef passes by increase of size into an island. The word is especially used with reference to those low islands which are formed of coralline debris. See
atoll, and coral reef, below.
- n. Any extensive elevation of the bottom of the sea; a shoal; abank: so called by fishermen.
- n. In Australia, the same as lode, vein, or ledge of the Cordilleran miner: as, a quartz-reef (that is, a quartz-vein).
- n. A kind of commercial sponge which grows on reefs.
- n. Nautical, a part of a sail rolled or folded up, in order to diminish the extent of canvas exposed to the wind. In topsails and courses, and sometimes in top-gallantsails, the reef is the part of the sail between the head and the first reef-band, or between any two reef-bands; in fore-and-aft sails reefs are taken on the foot. There are generally three or four reefs in topsails, and one or two in courses.
- Nautical, to take a reef or reefs in; reduce the size of (a sail) by rolling or folding up a part and securing it by tying reef-points about it. In square sails the reef-points are tied round the yard as well as the sail; in fore-and-aft sails they may or may not be tied round the boom Which extends the foot of the sail. In very large ships, where the yards are so large as to make it inconvenient to tie the reef-points around them, the sails are sometimes reefed to jackstays on the yards.
- To gather up stuff of any kind in away similar to that described in def. 1. Compare reefing.
- See the quotation.
- Scabby; scurvy.
- n. The itch; also, any eruptive disorder.
- n. Dandruff.
- n. In the Tyrolese Alps, and especially in the region of the dolomites, “massive un-stratified limestones and dolomites rising amid strikingly contrasted sediments.”
- In Australian mining, to work at a reef.
- adj. Scabby; scurvy.
- n. The itch; any eruptive skin disorder.
- n. Dandruff.
- n. A chain or range of rocks, sand, or coral lying at or near the surface of the water.
- n. Australia, South Africa A large vein of auriferous quartz; hence, any body of rock yielding valuable ore.
- n. nautical A portion of a sail rolled and tied down to lessen the area exposed in a high wind.
- n. A reef knot.
- v. nautical To take in part of a sail in order to adapt the size of the sail to the force of the wind.
- v. Australia To pull or yank strongly.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A chain or range of rocks lying at or near the surface of the water. See Coral reefs, under coral.
- n. (Mining.) A large vein of auriferous quartz; -- so called in Australia. Hence, any body of rock yielding valuable ore.
- n. (Naut.) That part of a sail which is taken in or let out by means of the reef points, in order to adapt the size of the sail to the force of the wind.
- v. (Naut.) To reduce the extent of (as a sail) by rolling or folding a certain portion of it and making it fast to the yard or spar.
- v. reduce (a sail) by taking in a reef
- n. one of several strips across a sail that can be taken in or rolled up to lessen the area of the sail that is exposed to the wind
- n. a submerged ridge of rock or coral near the surface of the water
- n. a rocky region in the southern Transvaal in northeastern South Africa; contains rich gold deposits and coal and manganese
- v. roll up (a portion of a sail) in order to reduce its area
- v. lower and bring partially inboard
- From earlier riff, from Middle English rif, from Old Norse rif ("rib, reef"), from Proto-Germanic *rebjan (“rib, reef”), from Proto-Indo-European *rebh- (“arch, ceiling, cover”). Cognate with Dutch rif ("reef"), Low German riff, reff ("reef"), German Riff ("reef, ledge"), Old English ribb ("rib"). More at rib. (Wiktionary)
- Obsolete Dutch rif, possibly from Old Norse, ridge.Middle English riff, from Old Norse rif, ridge, reef. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Finding we could not weather the reef, and that _it was too late had it been in our power to give any assistance_; and still fearing that we might be embayed or entangled by the supposed chain or patches; all therefore that remained for us to do was either by dint of carrying sail to weather the reef to the southward, (meaning the Cato's Bank,) or, if failing in that, to push to leeward and endeavour to find a passage through the _patches of reef_ to the northward.”
“I think better access to this reef is a little north of the hotel.”
“Fishing on the reef is only a rich man's pleasure.”
“Their reef is mysteriously dying and no one knows why!”
“The coral reef is razor sharp, the Strange Tides steep, high mountainous blue curved clear Walls of Glass that crash, surfers beware!”
“The reef is razor sharp, the waves as deep steep, a mountainous blue, curved clear walls of glass.”
“The 25,000-year-old reef is the refuge for more than 220 kinds of fish, including numerous colorful tropical species.”
“The foundation is a non-profit organization and has been involved in reef rebuilding projects all over the world including a project to help rebuild reefs damaged in the 2004 tsunami.”
“Calling a technology a coral reef is the highest compliment I can pay.”
“Also we will want to do some snorkeling, any info on a beach were the reef is closest so we could swim out?”
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Nabbed from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROT-13#Letter_games_and_net_culture: words that become other existing words (or failing that, acronyms) when a Caesar shift of 13 places is applied to them.
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