Meaning of RIFT in English


I. ˈrift noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse ript breach of contract, rīfa to rive, Danish & Norwegian rift rent, fissure — more at rive


a. : an opening made by cracking or splitting : fissure , crevasse

a rift in the ice

spring that gushes from a rift in a red sandstone bluff — American Guide Series: Texas

widened lattice intervals are evidently rifts in the crystal lattice, produced initially by plastic deformation — Science

broadly : any crack or flaw caused by stress or conflict — often used of minute or immaterial things

little rift within the lute — Alfred Tennyson

first split Western man's acts from his ideals, for only by such a rift in his mind could he hold on to these mutually destroying beliefs — Lillian Smith


(1) : a normal fault ; especially : one along which movement has occurred in comparatively recent geologic time

(2) : a depression or valley along the trace of a fault or fault zone — compare rift valley

2. : an open space : a clear interval

glimpsed occasionally through rifts in the dense foliage — American Guide Series: Pennsylvania

high rifts of blue, white-cloud-dappled sky — Flora Thompson

had one of those rifts of lucidity in which I saw him whole and limited — Mary Austin

3. : wood split or cut radially from the log

rift flooring

4. : the direction of easiest splitting especially of a granite — used especially by quarrymen

5. : a divergence (as of interests or beliefs) resulting in disagreement or dispute

this little rift it was that had widened to a now considerable breach — H.G.Wells

a growing rift and an atmosphere of suspicion between the two parties — Farmer's Weekly (South Africa)

developments in the industrial crisis which reveal significant rifts among his own supporters — New Statesman & Nation

Synonyms: see breach

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English riften, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse ripta to break a contract, ript breach of contract

transitive verb


a. : cleave , rive , split , divide

mica rifted into sheets

the mist is rifted and we can look straight at the words — R.P.Warren

b. : to saw (wood) radially from the log so as to have the annual rings perpendicular or nearly so to the face

2. : to penetrate by or as if by cleaving

the intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secret of things — H.D.Thoreau

intransitive verb

1. : to burst open : split

the clouds rifted

2. : to form a rift in the earth's crust

sedimentary deposits surviving the denudation following the rifting — E. African Agric. Journal

III. intransitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English riften, from Old Norse rypta; probably akin to Sanskrit rauti he roars — more at rumor

chiefly dialect : to belch or break wind

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: probably alteration of riff (I)

: a shallow or rocky place in a stream forming either a ford or a rapid

trout waters, where the rifts and pools harbor flashing rainbows — G.P.Manning

V. adjective

Etymology: by shortening

: rift-sawed

rift fir

rift laths

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.