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ri·fle 1

a. A firearm with a spirally grooved bore, designed to be fired from the shoulder.
b. An artillery piece or naval gun with a spirally grooved bore.
2. rifles Troops armed with rifles.
tr.v. ri·fled, ri·fling, ri·fles
To cut spiral grooves within (a gun barrel, for example).

[Short for rifle gun, rifled gun, from rifle, to cut spiral grooves in, from French rifler, to scratch, from Middle French, from Old French; see rifle2.]

ri·fle 2

v. ri·fled, ri·fling, ri·fles
v. tr.
1. To search (an area or container, for example) thoroughly, especially using the hands with the intent to steal or remove something: rifled the desk, looking for the keys.
2. To rob or search with the intent to rob: rifled the travelers of their belongings.
3. To steal (goods).
v. intr.
To search vigorously: rifling through my drawers to find matching socks.

[Middle English riflen, to plunder, from Middle French rifler, from Old French rifler, to scratch, brush up against, from Old High German riffilōn, to scrape, scratch; akin to Old Norse rīfa, to rive.]

ri′fler n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
THE Head Rifler of an insolvent bank, learning that it was about to be visited by the official Noser into Things, placed his own personal note for a large amount among its resources, and, gaily touching his guitar, awaited the inspection.
Gradually it dawned on me that the values which I had derived from the Jewish community in which I grew up, values of sympathy for the underdog and the desire for a more peaceful, equitable and rational social order, were Jewish values, values which the Jewish people had upheld throughout our history and been persecuted for doing so by one autocratic rifler after another.
Lenkov, Len Wiseman; producer, Pat Crowley; director, Wiseman; writer, Lenkov; story by Kurtzman, Orci, Lenkov, based on the series created by Leonard Freeman; camera, Gabriel Beristain; production designer, Gary Frutkoff; editor, Nick de Toth; music, Brian rifler, Keith Power; original theme, Morton Stevens; casting, Lisa Beach, Sarah Katzman.