- The definition of a riff is a short rhythm phrase used in music, that is often played when a soloist is performing or when chords and harmonies are changing.
An example of a riff is a repeated phrase that is used to lead up to an improvisational solo or used behind a solo in a song.
riff definition by Webster's New World
- a constantly repeated musical phrase used esp. as background for a soloist or as the basic theme of a final chorus: a term that originated in jazz music
- Informal a short, incisive comment, passage, or scene, often one of several functioning as variations on a theme, in a speech, novel, film, etc.
Origin: probably altered ; from refrain
- to play a riff: a term that originated in jazz music
- Informal to make use of a riff or riffs
- Riffian adjective, noun
riff definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Music A short rhythmic phrase, especially one that is repeated in improvisation.
- 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).
Origin: Origin unknown.
or Rifnoun pl. Riff or Riffs or Rif or Rifs also Rif·fi
- A member of any of several Berber peoples inhabiting Er Rif.
- The Berber language of this people.
- Rifˈfi·an adjective & n.
riff - Computer Definition
(1) (Resource Interchange File Format) A multimedia file format introduced by Microsoft and IBM in the early 1990s that is structured in "chunks." Each chunk identifies the type of data that follows, thus RIFF files can be composites of different audio and video content. Microsoft's AVI and WAV files conform to the RIFF format. See AVI and WAV.
(2) An earlier bitmapped graphics format developed for Letraset's ImageStudio and Ready, Set, Go programs for the Macintosh.