Main definitions of rifle in English

: rifle1rifle2

rifle1

noun

  • 1A gun, especially one fired from shoulder level, having a long spirally grooved barrel intended to make a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance.

    ‘a hunting rifle’
    • ‘By today's standards, the Winchester 1886 was a huge rifle weighing about nine pounds.’
    • ‘Police officers carrying semi-automatic rifles rode the capital's Metro subway trains.’
    • ‘Officers believe all five victims were shot at random from a distance with high-velocity bullets probably fired by a rifle.’
    • ‘Drummond hobbled off, returning with a cigar in his mouth and an automatic rifle in his hands.’
    • ‘We pondered and poured over catalogs until we knew every rifle then available.’
    • ‘If you might have to fire a rifle or shotgun indoors, keep your hearing protection near the gun.’
    • ‘Squeeze or squeezing of the trigger is the third element of rifle marksmanship.’
    • ‘For many of the British the battle resembled Mons: determined infantry assaults prepared by heavy shellfire, met with accurate rifle fire.’
    • ‘Several Kalashnikov assault rifles were found at the scene.’
    • ‘At this time, the Marine Corps began to stress rifle marksmanship.’
    • ‘If infantry attacks on foot, defending troops cut off infantry from tanks and destroy it with machine-gun and automatic rifle fire.’
    • ‘Another development applied to both handgun and rifle bullets is a " bonding " process.’
    • ‘With scope and the supplied nylon sling, the empty rifle weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces.’
    • ‘Berlitz heard two rifle shots at his back and braced himself for the pain.’
    • ‘The new Remington 710 is a moderately priced, entry-level, bolt-action hunting rifle.’
    • ‘Senators like Jean Carnahan went out of their way to brandish their hunting rifles.’
    • ‘With the exception of handguns that fire rifle cartridges, copper fouling isn't a big problem for handgunners.’
    • ‘I used to be a pretty decent rifle shot when I was at camp.’
    • ‘Maurice snorted, moving the cloth up and down the gleaming rifle barrel.’
    • ‘Imagine firing a high-powered rifle in a mountainous area; people within five kilometers of the shot would hear it.’
    1. 1.1Troops armed with rifles.
      [in names] ‘the Burma Rifles’
      • ‘Johnston initially intended to create a black battalion that would include a Mobile company comprising Gilmer's rifles and additional troops.’
      • ‘On the Moroccan side, security services with shotguns and rifles with fixed bayonets have met migrant workers.’
      • ‘Prussian military rifles first mounted sword bayonets in 1787 and the armies of most other countries followed suit over the following 30 or 40 years.’

verb

  • 1[with object] Make spiral grooves in (a gun or its barrel or bore) to make a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance.

    ‘a line of replacement rifled barrels’
    • ‘The term is, however, also correctly applied to heavy rifled ordnance of the howitzer class used for coastal defence by some nations, though few ever saw use in 1939-45.’
    • ‘From the mid-19th century all military weapons had rifled barrels and the term rifle was restricted to the long-barrelled weapon of the infantryman.’
    • ‘According to the Scanalyzers, it lacks rifled grooves of any sort in the barrel.’
    • ‘Since it has a conventionally rifled barrel and fully supports the cartridge case, it is an ideal tool for investigating a new handloading challenge’
    • ‘Every Rossi rifle barrel is button rifled for maximum accuracy.’
    • ‘Yes, you can fire lead bullets in the S&W's conventionally rifled barrel.’
    • ‘The barrel is rifled 1: 54-inches, with a very nice internal finish, testified to by smooth loading and easy cleanup.’
    • ‘And their weapons were grooved, or rifled, to spin the ball for greater accuracy.’
    • ‘All that, plus its finely rifled .177 caliber barrel, contribute a lot to this pistol's terrific precision.’
    • ‘The barrel can be rifled and this rifling causes the projectile to spin, increasing its accuracy.’
    • ‘The 1008B has a rifled steel barrel and a fully adjustable rear sight.’
    • ‘The SAS Slug Gun has a rifled 22-inch barrel with cantilever scope base.’
    • ‘The barrel has a rifled choke that shoots bullets exceedingly well, but still produces useful shot patterns, perfect for aerial trick shooting.’
    • ‘They too either were smooth bored or rifled and had a range up to a 1,000 yds.’
    • ‘The caliber was 16-gauge and the barrel was rifled with lands and grooves that ran straight as an arrow from breech to muzzle.’
    • ‘Shorter handgun-length barrels are rifled through a cutting process known as broaching.’
    • ‘Over the next fifteen years, he invented and developed bronze boat guns, heavy smoothbore shell guns, and rifled ordnance.’
    • ‘Anschutz barrels are button rifled, target crowned, and chambered to minimum dimensions.’
    • ‘Rossi Firearm's fully rifled slug gun is button rifled, equipped with factory porting and features TruGlo sights.’
    • ‘All Gamo air rifles have a rifled steel barrel, trigger safety and spring-piston action and are grooved for a scope.’
  • 2[with object and adverbial of direction] Hit or kick (a ball) hard and straight.

    ‘Ferguson rifled home his fourth goal of the season’
    • ‘He was high on some passes and rifled the ball too hard on some short routes.’
    • ‘However, he got a second bite of the cherry and this time made no mistake, rifling the ball in off the base of the post.’
    • ‘He could rifle that ball to the outside as fast as anybody.’
    • ‘Without any effort to disguise his intentions, Eoin Kelly stepped up to calmly rifle the ball to the net.’
    • ‘The winner was scored in the 69th minute when a corner from Giles O'Grady was only half cleared by the Park defence to the edge of their box, and it fell to J P Leahy who rifled the ball inside the near post.’
    • ‘Dixon concentrated on quick-recovering skills of the goalkeepers as he constantly rifled the ball from angles.’
    • ‘Jose Reyes makes a diagonal run into the box from the left wing, Thierry Henry pokes a brilliant pass into his path and the young Spaniard rifles the ball into the side-netting.’
    • ‘In the 16th minute, Paul Foley slipped the ball to John Mullane and, in full flight, the De La Salle man rifled the ball to the net.’
    • ‘A minute later the visitors were punished for their miss when Lennon took a pass on the turn and rifled the ball into the right-hand corner to give Monksland the lead.’
    • ‘Ignoring the supporting Johnny McBride, the Loup player picked out the unmarked Bradley who rifled the ball to the net.’
    • ‘Striker Pav Singh picked up the ball down the right channel, shimmied inside, created space past a couple of defenders, and rifled the ball left-footed into the bottom right corner.’
    • ‘He picked up the loose ball, cut inside then out onto his left foot, before rifling the ball past Julian Speroni into the far corner.’
    • ‘Steve Oleksewycz rifled the ball into the net in the 14th minute from the narrowest of angles.’
    • ‘New Reds striker, Barry Patton saw his initial shot blocked, but the rebound fell to Anthony Crawford in the box and he rifled the ball in off the crossbar from 14 yards out.’
    • ‘Doran rifled the ball past a helpless Loney in the Armagh goal to open up a four-point lead.’
    • ‘Esteban Cambiasso rifles the ball into the net for Inter, but the referee had already blown for a foul by Christian Vieri.’
    • ‘Jamie Barrow concluded the scoring when he scampered onto Smith's pass to rifle the ball past Knowles.’
    • ‘United's midfielder threatened to shoot with his left, but then turned inside Ben Watson's tackle and rifled the ball into the roof of the net with his right.’
    • ‘They got the early goal they required in the 50th minute when a corner taken by Daly was punched clear by Carey but it only reached Jonathan Sparling who rifled the ball to the net.’
    • ‘Keeper Robert Moore seemed to have it lowered but somehow lost it and the loose ball was rifled home gleefully by John Coleman.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: from French rifler graze, scratch, of Germanic origin. The earliest noun usage was in rifle gun, which had ‘rifles’ or spiral grooves cut into the inside of the barrel.

Pronunciation:

rifle

/ˈrʌɪf(ə)l/

Main definitions of rifle in English

: rifle1rifle2

rifle2

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Search through something in a hurried way in order to find or steal something.

    ‘she rifled through the cassette tapes’
    [with object] ‘she rifled the house for money’
    • ‘Inside the bombed-out palace, troops from Attack Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry, rifled through documents and inventoried the building.’
    • ‘He complained that officers rifled through his wife's underwear drawer.’
    • ‘He then managed to keep her occupied while he rifled through the property in search of the cash savings.’
    • ‘He said that the pair met up and rifled through the sack and Hyland took the euros which they then cashed at a currency exchange in a Post Office in Lancaster.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, an elderly woman was left shocked after a crook claiming to be a district nurse rifled through her purse.’
    • ‘Three intruders who used a variety of ruses to gain entry into sheltered flats in Devizes, rifled through elderly people's belongings leaving such a mess that it is not known if anything was stolen.’
    • ‘One of the robbers stood on the victim's head while the second rifled through his pockets, stealing a credit card and £30 cash.’
    • ‘Thieves forced their way through a garage door, went upstairs and rifled through drawers in the main bedroom.’
    • ‘City Prosecutor's Office spokesman Sergei Marchenko said the killer or killers had apparently rifled through Kushnir's possessions, leaving the apartment in disarray.’
    • ‘The personal invasion is highly unsettling, especially if they have rifled through personal papers or clothing.’
    • ‘The men demanded the keys to their new Skoda Octavia car, then locked them both in a downstairs room while they rifled through drawers.’
    • ‘An inspector rifled through discarded bin bags outside her home in Openshaw and is believed to have found a handwritten letter which had her name written on it.’
    • ‘I'm sure dozens of people have rifled through my diaries over the years.’
    • ‘A house on the Smalls Road in Warrenpoint was broken into just before 3.40 pm and rifled through.’
    • ‘Whoever did it was obviously looking for cash because they went through all my possessions and rifled through all the drawers in the house.’
    • ‘They rifled through two handbags and a desk taking all the cash they found, then stole van keys from the hall.’
    • ‘As the victim, who is partially-sighted, sat helpless in her wheelchair, the men rifled through all the rooms in the house before stealing money from her handbag.’
    • ‘Two cellphone corporations rifled through the electronic files of at least one rival.’
    • ‘One man threatened him with the air gun, while the second rifled through his pockets, stealing a Sony mobile phone and a disposable cigarette lighter.’
    • ‘He then stood and rifled through the contents, taking cash, while warning the pensioner to ‘keep quiet’ because he ‘had a knife’.’
    rummage, search, hunt, forage, sift, rake
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object]Steal.
      ‘he rifled the dead man's possessions’
      • ‘It is believed the thieves rifle letters for money or anything they can cash in, with birthday cards particular targets.’
      • ‘The 18-year-old thug snatched his victim's bag and rifled his wallet before punching him in the face on the bridge across the River Avon.’
      • ‘Sure enough, the surveillance set-up soon captured the toff ne'er-do-well rifling Allen's wallet.’
      • ‘Dressed in his Garda tunic, the thief asked the woman for identification and rummaged through her handbag before rifling some cash.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French rifler graze, plunder, of Germanic origin.

Pronunciation:

rifle

/ˈrʌɪf(ə)l/