Reef definition

rēf
Frequency:
A strip or ridge of rocks, sand, or coral that rises to or near the surface of a body of water.
noun
8
3
A portion of a sail rolled and tied down to lessen the area exposed to the wind.
noun
5
3
(naut.) A part of a sail which can be folded or rolled up and made fast to reduce the area exposed to the wind, as during a storm.
noun
3
1
A line or ridge of rock, coral, or sand lying at or near the surface of the water.
noun
3
2
The definition of a reef is part of a boat's sail that can be rolled and tied to cut down on wind resistance.

An example of a reef is the rolled up part of a sail during a storm at sea.

noun
2
1
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Reef is defined as a ridge of coral, alga, sand or rock close to the surface of the water in the ocean.

An example of a reef is the Great Barrier Reef which was formed when the sea levels rose, flooding the continental shelf of Australia, allowing the coral that were growing on the edges of the shelf to grow and begin form the reef.

noun
1
0
To lower (a spar or mast) or reduce the projection of (a bowsprit)
verb
1
1
A strip or ridge of rocks, sand, or coral that rises to or near the surface of a body of water.
1
1
(Now chiefly dialectal) The itch; any eruptive skin disorder.
noun
1
1
adjective
0
0
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(Now chiefly dialectal) Dandruff.
noun
0
0
A chain or range of rocks, sand, or coral lying at or near the surface of the water.
noun
0
0
(Australia, South Africa) A large vein of auriferous quartz; hence, any body of rock yielding valuable ore.
noun
0
0
(nautical) A portion of a sail rolled and tied down to lessen the area exposed in a high wind.
noun
0
0
A reef knot.
noun
0
0
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(nautical) To take in part of a sail in order to adapt the size of the sail to the force of the wind.
verb
0
0
(Australia) To pull or yank strongly.
verb
0
0
To reduce the size of (a sail) by tucking in a part and tying it to or rolling it around a yard.
verb
0
1
To shorten (a topmast or bowsprit) by taking part of it in.
verb
0
1
(mining) A bed or vein of ore; lode.
noun
0
1
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A vein of ore.
noun
2
4
To reduce the size of (a sail) by taking in part of it.
verb
0
2

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
reef
Plural:
reefs

Adjective

Base Form:
reef
Superlative:
reefest

Origin of reef

  • Middle English riff from Old Norse rif ridge, reef

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Obsolete Dutch rif possibly from Old Norse ridge

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English ref, hreof, from Old English hrÄ“of (“rough, scabby, leprous", also "a leper"), from Proto-Germanic *hreubaz (“rough, scabby, scrubby"), from Proto-Indo-European *kreup- (“scab, crust"), related to Old English hrÄ“ofla (“leprosy, leper"). Cognate with Scots reif (“a skin disease leaving crusts on the skin, the scab"), Old High German riob (“leprous, scabby, mangy"), Icelandic hrjúfur (“scabby, rough"). Compare riffe, dandruff.

    From Wiktionary

  • From earlier riff, from Middle English rif, from Old Norse rif (“rib, reef"), from Proto-Germanic *ribjÄ… (“rib, reef"), from Proto-Indo-European *rebh- (“arch, ceiling, cover"). Cognate with Dutch rif (“reef"), Low German riff, reff (“reef"), German Riff (“reef, ledge"), Old English ribb (“rib"). More at rib.

    From Wiktionary