Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to riff: rift, RRIF
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!


Undesirable, disreputable, or vulgar people, often used in a condescending manner. I wouldn't be seen in a place like that, there's a lot of riffraff that hang out around there.


1. noun An acronym for "reduction in force," referring to the termination of employees due to budget requirements. I've been hearing rumors that another RIF might be in the cards if the company doesn't start turning a bigger profit soon. Sarah's been out of work ever since the RIF at her last job.
2. verb By extension, to terminate one or more employees, especially due to budgetary requirements. Sometimes written in lower case, especially when conjugated. We might have to RIF some employees if we want to keep the business afloat. I can't believe they riffed me, after 30 years of loyal service!


slang Terminated from one's job due to a reduction in staff, often for budgetary requirements. Based on the acronym "RIF," which stands for "reduction in force." I can't believe I got riffed, after 30 years of loyal service! The unfortunate reality of this industry is that it's all too easy to get riffed every time the busy season winds down.
See also: riff


1. tv. to dismiss an employee. (From the euphemism reduction in force.) They’re going to rif John tomorrow.
2. n. a firing; a dismissal. There’s a rif in your future.


1. n. a short, repeated line of music played by a particular performer. Jim just sat there and forgot his riff.
2. n. a digression while speaking. (From sense 1) If she didn’t make so many riffs while she spoke, we could understand her better.


1. mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. I can’t keep getting riffed every night like this.
2. and rift mod. fired; released from employment. (From rif, “reduction in force.” A dismissal not for cause, but simply to reduce the number of workers.) Most of the sales force was rift last week.
See also: riff
References in periodicals archive ?
Not just Indian tour companies, but even international companies run many trips to Jodhpur -- DIVYA BHATIA, JODHPUR RIFF DIRECTOR ' '
Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, below, said: "I'm knocked out by this because I didn't expect that to happen - there's been so many wonderful riffs along the way.
That wouldn't be enough, of course, so there's another runaway riff in the mid-section of the song, which finally closes to the sound of thunder and rain amid which a church bell mournfully tolls.
When you're a Jet/You're a Jet all the way/From your first cigarette/To your last dyin' day," sing Riff and the gang, a sentiment that proves to be more accurate than Riff might realize.
According to the magazine's experts, Bellamy's winning riff is deceptively difficult to play.
The development and fielding cost to the government for the RIFF kit was zero, and the time for provision to the warfighter was just a matter of days.
The famous track came top of a poll of 100 Greatest Riffs Ever voted for by readers of Total Guitar magazine.
She often blends surrealistic imagery with rhythms that riff on-that is, revise-the black sermon form.
Led Zeppelin may owe an American musician millions of dollars in royalties, a plaintiff's attorney said on Wednesday in closing arguments of a trial over whether the British band stole the opening riff for its 1971 hit "Stairway to Heaven.
Opener Hot Squash strips back the band's usual flurry of furious sound to a tight stoner rock riff the Queens Of The Stone Age would be proud of and then adds 999-call-urgent vocals from singer Tom Hudson.
The Joy of the Guitar Riff BBC Four, Friday, 9pm Thank heavens for BBC Four on Friday nights, a time when cracking documentaries and concerts are screened for music lovers who prefer Sixties and Seventies tunes to the more recent MP3 output.
She'll be fronting Dave Manington's Riff Raff at The Barton Arms in Birmingham, although "fronting" might not be the best word, as her voice often becomes part of the instrumental fabric.