Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Music A short rhythmic phrase, especially one that is repeated in improvisation.
  • n. A clever or inventive commentary or remark: "Those little riffs that had seemed to have such sparkle over drinks ... look all too embarrassing in cold print” ( John Richardson).
  • intransitive v. To play or make riffs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A repeated instrumental melody line in a song.
  • n. A clever or witty remark.
  • v. To improvise in the performance or practice of an art, especially by expanding on or making novel use of traditional themes.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The belly; the bowels.
  • n. An obsolete form of reef.—2. A rapid or riffle. See riffle.
  • n. An obsolete form of reef.

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

  • v. play riffs
  • n. a jazz ostinato; usually provides a background for a solo improvisation
  • n. a Berber living in northern Morocco
  • v. look through a book or other written material

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Comments

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  • Likely from a shortening of riffle.

    March 24, 2013

  • ninja words:
    (v) : to improvise in the performance or practice of an art, esp. by expanding on or making novel use of traditional themes

    June 11, 2008