rifle


rifle

noun

  1. a shoulder firearm with spiral grooves cut in the inner surface of the gun barrel to give the bullet a rotatory motion and thus a more precise trajectory.
  2. one of the grooves.
  3. a cannon with such grooves.
  4. (often initial capital letter) rifles, any of certain military units or bodies equipped with rifles.

verb (used with object), ri·fled, ri·fling.

  1. to cut spiral grooves within (a gun barrel, pipe, etc.).
  2. to propel (a ball) at high speed, as by throwing or hitting with a bat.

verb (used with object), ri·fled, ri·fling.

  1. to ransack and rob (a place, receptacle, etc.).
  2. to search and rob (a person).
  3. to plunder or strip bare.
  4. to steal or take away.

noun

    1. a firearm having a long barrel with a spirally grooved interior, which imparts to the bullet spinning motion and thus greater accuracy over a longer range
    2. (as modifier)rifle fire
  1. (formerly) a large cannon with a rifled bore
  2. one of the grooves in a rifled bore
  3. (plural)
    1. a unit of soldiers equipped with rifles
    2. (capital when part of a name)the Rifle Brigade

verb (tr)

  1. to cut or mould spiral grooves inside the barrel of (a gun)
  2. to throw or hit (a ball) with great speed

verb (tr)

  1. to search (a house, safe, etc) and steal from it; ransack
  2. to steal and carry offto rifle goods from a shop
n.

1775, “portable firearm having a spirally grooved bore,” used earlier of the grooves themselves (1751), noun use of rifled (pistol), 1680s, from verb meaning “to cut spiral grooves in” (a gun barrel); see rifle (v.2).

v.1

“to plunder,” early 14c. (implied in rifling), from Old French rifler “strip, filch, plunder, peel off (skin or bark), fleece,” literally “to graze, scratch” (12c.), probably from a Germanic source (cf. Old English geriflian “to wrinkle,” Old High German riffilon “to tear by rubbing,” Old Norse rifa “to tear, break”). Related: Rifled; rifling.

v.2

“to cut spiral grooves in” (a gun barrel), 1630s, probably from French rifler, from Old French rifler “to scratch or groove” (see rifle (v.1)). Related: Rifled; rifling.

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