English

Definition of reef noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    reef

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//riːf//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//riːf//
     
    Conservation
     
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  1. 1a long line of rocks or sand near the surface of the sea a coral reef the Great Barrier Reef See related entries: Conservation
  2. 2a part of a sail that can be tied or rolled up to make the sail smaller in a strong wind
  3. Word Originnoun sense 1 late 16th cent. (earlier as riff): from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch rif, ref, from Old Norse rif, literally ‘rib’, used in the same sense. noun sense 2 Middle English: from Middle Dutch reef, rif, from Old Norse rif, literally ‘rib’, used in the same sense.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: reef

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