Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A rocky shoal or sandbar lying just below the surface of a waterway.
  • noun A stretch of choppy water caused by such a shoal or sandbar; a rapid.
  • noun A wave or ripple in such water.
  • noun In mining, the sectional stone or wood bottom lining of a sluice, arranged for trapping mineral particles, as of gold.
  • noun A groove or block in such a lining.
  • noun Games The act or an instance of shuffling cards.
  • intransitive verb Games To shuffle (playing cards) by holding part of a deck in each hand and raising up the edges before releasing them to fall alternately in one stack.
  • intransitive verb To thumb through (the pages of a book, for example).
  • intransitive verb Games To shuffle cards.
  • intransitive verb To flow in rough waves or become choppy, as water.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A ripple, as upon the surface of water; hence, a rapid; a place in a stream where a swift current, striking upon rocks, produces a boiling motion in the water.
  • noun In mining, the lining of the bottom of a sluice, made of blocks or slats of wood, or stones, arranged in such a manner that chinks are left open between them.
  • noun A piece of plank placed transversely in, and fastened to the bottom of, a fish-ladder.
  • noun In seal-engraving, a very small iron disk at the end of a tool, used to develop a high polish.
  • To shuffle a pack of cards by butting the two parts of the pack into each other and then bending them so that they slip together.

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

  • noun (Mining) A trough or sluice having cleats, grooves, or steps across the bottom for holding quicksilver and catching particles of gold when auriferous earth is washed; also, one of the cleats, grooves, or steps in such a trough. Also called ripple.
  • noun Local, U. S. A ripple in a stream or current of water; also, a place where the water ripples, as on a shallow rapid.

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

  • noun A fast-flowing, shallow part of a stream causing broken water.
  • noun A succession of small waves.
  • noun A trough or sluice having cleats, grooves, or steps across the bottom for holding quicksilver and catching particles of gold when auriferous earth is washed. Also one of the cleats, grooves or steps in such trough.
  • noun A quick skim through the pages of a book.
  • noun The act of shuffling cards; the sound made while shuffling cards.
  • verb intransitive To flow over a fast moving shallow part of a stream.
  • verb transitive To ruffle with a rippling action.
  • verb intransitive To skim or flick through the pages of a book.
  • verb transitive To leaf through rapidly.
  • verb transitive To shuffle playing cards by separating the deck in two and sliding the thumbs along the edges of the cards to mix the two parts.
  • verb transitive To idly manipulate objects with the fingers.
  • verb transitive To prepare samples of material using a riffler.

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

  • verb stir up (water) so as to form ripples
  • noun shuffling by splitting the pack and interweaving the two halves at their corners
  • verb shuffle (playing cards) by separating the deck into two parts and riffling with the thumbs so the cards intermix
  • verb look through a book or other written material
  • noun a small wave on the surface of a liquid
  • verb twitch or flutter

Etymologies

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

[Possibly blend of ripple and ruffle.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possible alteration of ruffle, from Middle English ruffelen, akin to Low German ruffelen ("to crumple")

Examples

Comments

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  • shallow rapids in an open stream

    March 6, 2008

  • Often confused with "rifle," which is improper, colloquial usage.

    August 3, 2008

  • The sluice box with bars on the floor to trap gold. One of the bars. A riffle box.

    January 28, 2011