- a constantly repeated musical phrase used esp. as background for a soloist or as the basic theme of a final chorus
- 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 of rifforigin, originally a term in jazz: probably altered from refrain
- to play a riff
- Informal to make use of a riff or riffs