rift

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish/Norwegian rift 'breach', Old Norse rífa 'to tear'. More at rive.

Noun[edit]

rift ‎(plural rifts)

  1. A chasm or fissure.
    My marriage is in trouble, the fight created a rift between us and we can't reconnect.
    The Grand Canyon is a rift in the Earth's surface, but is smaller than some of the undersea ones.
  2. A break in the clouds, fog, mist etc., which allows light through.
    • 1931, William Faulkner, Sanctuary, Vintage 1993, page 130:
      I have but one rift in the darkness, that is that I have injured no one save myself by my folly, and that the extent of that folly you will never learn.
  3. A shallow place in a stream; a ford.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

rift ‎(third-person singular simple present rifts, present participle rifting, simple past and past participle rifted)

  1. (intransitive) To form a rift.
  2. (transitive) To cleave; to rive; to split.
    to rift an oak
    • 1611, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V
      to the dread rattling thunder / Have I given fire and rifted Jove's stout oak / With his own bolt
    • 1822, William Wordsworth, "A Jewish Family (in a small valley opposite St. Goar, upon the Rhine)" 9-11, [1]
      The Mother—her thou must have seen, / In spirit, ere she came / To dwell these rifted rocks between.
    • 1894, Ivan Dexter, Talmud: A Strange Narrative of Central Australia, published in serial form in Port Adelaide News and Lefevre's Peninsula Advertiser (SA), Chapter III, [2]
      he stopped rigid as one petrified and gazed through the rifted logs of the raft into the water.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Norse rypta.

Verb[edit]

rift ‎(third-person singular simple present rifts, present participle rifting, simple past and past participle rifted)

  1. (obsolete outside Scotland and, northern Britain) To belch.

Etymology 3[edit]

Verb[edit]

rift (obsolete)

  1. past participle of rive
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)

Anagrams[edit]


Old English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *riftą, *riftiją, perhaps from *rib- ‎(to wrap), from Proto-Germanic *rebʰ- ‎(to cover; arch over; vault). Cognate with Old High German peinrefta ‎(legwear; leggings), Old Norse ript, ripti ‎(a kind of cloth; linen jerkin).

Noun[edit]

rift n ‎(nominative plural rift)

  1. A veil; curtain; cloak

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Middle English: rift

Scots[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse rypta.

Verb[edit]

rift ‎(third-person singular present rifts, present participle riftin, past riftit, past participle riftit)

  1. to belch, burp