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reef Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a submerged ridge of rock or coral near the surface of the water
  2. noun a rocky region in the southern Transvaal in northeastern South Africa; contains rich gold deposits and coal and manganese
    Rand; Witwatersrand.
  3. noun one of several strips across a sail that can be taken in or rolled up to lessen the area of the sail that is exposed to the wind
  4. verb lower and bring partially inboard
    • reef the sailboat's mast
  5. verb roll up (a portion of a sail) in order to reduce its area
  6. verb reduce (a sail) by taking in a reef
WordNet

Reef noun
Etymology
Akin to D. rif, G. riff, Icel. rif, Dan. rev; cf. Icel. rifa rift, rent, fissure, rifa to rive, bear. Cf. Rift, Rive.
Definitions
  1. A chain or range of rocks lying at or near the surface of the water. See Coral reefs, under Coral.
  2. (Mining.) A large vein of auriferous quartz; -- so called in Australia. Hence, any body of rock yielding valuable ore.
Reef noun
Etymology
Akin to D. reef, G. reff, Sw. ref; cf. Icel. rif reef, rifa to basten together. Cf. Reeve, v. t., River.
Definitions
  1. (Naut.) That part of a sail which is taken in or let out by means of the reef points, in order to adapt the size of the sail to the force of the wind. ✍ From the head to the first reef-band, in square sails, is termed the first reef; from this to the next is the second reef; and so on. In fore-and-aft sails, which reef on the foot, the first reef is the lowest part. Totten.
Reef transitive verb
Wordforms
imperfect & past participle Reefed present participle & verbal noun Reefing
Definitions
  1. (Naut.) To reduce the extent of (as a sail) by roiling or folding a certain portion of it and making it fast to the yard or spar. Totten.

Webster 1913


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