Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In mining, one who reefs; one who takes out ore-rock; a quartz-reefer.
  • noun An oyster that grows on reefs in the wild or untransplanted state; a reef-oyster.
  • noun One who reefs: a name familiarly applied to midshipmen, because they attended in the tops during the operation of reefing.
  • noun A short coat or jacket worn by sailors and fishermen, and copied for general use by the fashions of 1888–90.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Naut.) One who reefs; -- a name often given to midshipmen.
  • noun A close-fitting lacket or short coat of thick cloth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun slang A marijuana cigarette.
  • noun slang, uncountable marijuana.
  • noun nautical Someone who reefs sails, especially a midshipman.
  • noun A reefer jacket; a close-fitting jacket or short coat of thick cloth.
  • noun colloquial A refrigerated, insulated trailer or shipping container.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun marijuana leaves rolled into a cigarette for smoking

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Origin uncertain. Perhaps compare regional Spanish grifa ("cannabis") (Mexico), grifo ("someone who smokes cannabis") (Central America).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From reef +‎ -er.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortened form of refrigerator.

Examples

  • Pigtails are they little coiled wires that connect the front of the truck to the back, and a reefer is a refrigerated trailer used to transport food.

    CNN Transcript Aug 15, 2005

  • The reefer was a well-dressed boy, evidently a gentleman's son; but the lieutenant was one of those old weather-beaten sea-dogs, who are seldom employed in boats, unless something more than common is to be done.

    Miles Wallingford Sequel to "Afloat and Ashore"

  • Holding one's index finger and thumb to the mouth, as if smoking, signals the now-defunct financial-services firm "Refco" because "it sounded like 'reefer' to the traders," Mr. Carlson says.

    Trader Keeps Hands in History

  • Comes from: Smoking "reefer," Mr. Carlson says, a play on the bank's name

    Sign Language of Trading

  • Ironically, the hemp medicine and intoxicant industry will generate the least amount of capital, though it is the target of prohibitionist "reefer" propaganda.

    Hemp Can Help Us Solve Our Problems Now

  • Rogue boats sell tuna caught over their quotas to "reefer" freezer boats bound for Asia, or to fishing boats with unmet quotas, a trick known as laundering.

    The Tragic Tale Of The Last Tuna

  • In the Times, though, the news received a one-sentence "reefer" on its front page, directing readers to a ho-hum account on page A22.

    Unfit to Print?

  • Or were his visions of an English "reefer" being thrashed on his own ship by a young American prisoner, who was thereafter to write his name in history as "Salamander" Farragut?

    Harper's Young People, March 9, 1880 An Illustrated Weekly

  • He went into his bedroom and returned with a heavy "reefer" jacket.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

  • The ex - "reefer" takes an active part in the opening scenes of the Peninsular War, and meets with varied adventures in Portugal and Spain.

    Historic Boys Their Endeavours, Their Achievements, and Their Times

Comments

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  • A ship with refrigeration for carrying perishable goods.

    October 29, 2007

  • Also refers to a refrigerated truck or trailer.

    "Fuel filters: I recommend you keep a spare set on hand for the truck, and if you're pulling a reefer--keep a spare filter for that lil' motor, too. This is probably the most common roadside repair there is.

    --Bryan Martin, 2008, Movin' Out, 33(2): 11

    March 10, 2008

  • T

    he slang word "reefer" to refer to a marijuana cigarette can come from only one source, and I'm a little surprised that the definition always includes "origin unknown" - The Rif mountain range of Morocco, in the north of the country and very close to Europe, has long been the primary source of pt and hash for Europeans. The American "Beats" of the 50s all spent time in nearby Tangier. I have never heard any other

    explanation for the origin of "reefer" other than this, which makes a lot of sense.

    February 11, 2012