1. A gun, the inside of whose barrel is grooved with spiral channels, thus giving the ball a rotary motion and insuring greater accuracy of fire. As a military firearm it has superseded the musket.
2. A body of soldiers armed with rifles.
3. A strip of wood covered with emery or a similar material, used for sharpening scythes. Rifle pit, a trench for sheltering sharpshooters.
Origin: Akin to Dan. Rifle, or riffel, the rifle of a gun, a chamfer (cf. Riffel, riffelbosse, a rifle gun, rifle to rifle a gun, G. Riefeln, riefen, to chamfer, groove), and E. Rive. See Rive, and cf. Riffle, Rivel.