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reef 1

1. A strip or ridge of rocks, sand, or coral that rises to or near the surface of a body of water.
2. A vein of ore.
3. Chiefly Western US A long craggy ridge or rocky escarpment.

[Obsolete Dutch rif, possibly from Old Norse, ridge.]

reef′y adj.

reef 2

 (rēf) Nautical
A portion of a sail gathered in and secured to lessen the area exposed to the wind.
tr.v. reefed, reef·ing, reefs
1. To reduce the size of (a sail) by gathering in a part and securing it, as by lashing it to a yard.
2. To shorten (a topmast or bowsprit) by taking part of it in.

[Partly from Middle English rif (from Old Norse rif, from rīfa, to rive) and partly from Dutch and Low German reef (Low German, from Dutch), back-formation from Dutch reven, pl. of rif, reef (of a sail), from or akin to Old Norse rif.]


adj, reefier or reefiest
(Physical Geography) with, full of, or having reefs
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.reefy - full of submerged reefs or sandbanks or shoals; "reefy shallows"; "shoaly waters"
shallow - lacking physical depth; having little spatial extension downward or inward from an outer surface or backward or outward from a center; "shallow water"; "a shallow dish"; "a shallow cut"; "a shallow closet"; "established a shallow beachhead"; "hit the ball to shallow left field"