A rifle is a long, powerful gun that is fired from the shoulder. A soldier is most often armed with a rifle.

Some hunters use rifles, which fire single bullets rather than the small pellets, or shot, that shotguns fire. A rifle can do more damage and is therefore often used in the military. The name comes from the shape of the barrel, which is grooved — or rifled, from the Old French word rifler, "to scratch or groove." Another meaning of rifle comes from the same root but means "to search through things in a hurried way."

Definitions of rifle
  1. noun
    a shoulder firearm with a long barrel and a rifled bore
    “he lifted the rifle to his shoulder and fired”
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    light automatic rifle
    Garand, Garand rifle, M-1, M-1 rifle
    a semiautomatic rifle
    precision rifle, sniper rifle
    an extremely powerful rifle developed for the military; capable of destroying light armored vehicles and aircraft more than a mile away
    a shoulder rifle
    a sniper rifle with a telescopic sight
    type of:
    firearm, piece, small-arm
    a portable gun
  2. verb
    go through in search of something; search through someone's belongings in an unauthorized way
    “Who rifled through my desk drawers?”
    synonyms: go
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    type of:
    subject to a search
  3. verb
    steal goods; take as spoils
    synonyms: despoil, foray, loot, pillage, plunder, ransack, reave, strip
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    deplume, displume
    strip of honors, possessions, or attributes
    type of:
    take by force
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