verb (used with object), riffed, rif·fing. Informal.
- to discharge (a person) from military or civil service, especially as part of an economy program.
- a melodic phrase, often constantly repeated, forming an accompaniment or part of an accompaniment for a soloist.
verb (used without object)
- to perform riffs.
verb (used with object) Informal.
- plural Rifs, Riffs, Rifis, Rif, Riff or Rifi a member of a Berber people, inhabiting the Atlas Mountains in Morocco
- Also called: Rifian, Riffian (ˈrɪfɪən) the dialect of Berber spoken by this people
- See Er Rif
- (in jazz or rock music) a short series of chords
- (intr) to play or perform riffs in jazz or rock music
- informal to speak amusingly or make (amusing comments or remarks)
“melodic phrase in jazz,” 1935 (but said to have been used by musicians since c.1917), of uncertain origin, perhaps a shortened form of riffle, or altered from refrain. The verb is attested from 1942, from the noun. Also in extended use. Related: Riffed; riffing.