Definitions of reef

  1. That part of a sail which is taken in or let out by means of the reef points, in order to adapt the size of the sail to the force of the wind.
  2. To reduce the extent of ( as a sail) by roiling or folding a certain portion of it and making it fast to the yard or spar.
  3. To reduce ( a sail) by rolling or folding up part of it.
  4. Reduce the exposed surface of, as a sail.
  5. To fold together, as a sail.
  6. To take in; fold and fasten down, as a sail or part of a sail.
  7. reduce ( a sail) by taking in a reef
  8. roll up ( a portion of a sail) in order to reduce its area
  9. To contract by folding or rolling part of a sail.
  10. To reduce the exposed surface of a sail by tying together two parallel rows of short ropes which hang loosely on the sail.
  11. a submerged ridge of rock or coral near the surface of the water
  12. lower and bring partially inboard; " reef the sailboat's mast"
  13. A chain or range of rocks lying at or near the surface of the water. See Coral reefs, under Coral.
  14. A large vein of auriferous quartz; - so called in Australia. Hence, any body of rock yielding valuable ore.
  15. That part of a sail which can be drawn in by small ropes running in eyelet holes, in order to lessen the size of the sail; a sand, bar or shelf of rock lying level with, or just below, the surface of the water; as, a coral reef.
  16. A chain of rocks lying at or near the surface of the water.
  17. A portion of a sail.
  18. A ridge of rocks at or near the surface of the water.
  19. The folded part of a sail.
  20. Reefer.
  21. A portion of a sail, that is folded or rolled up when the wind is violent.
  22. A chain or range of rocks lying at or near the surface of the water.
  23. A chain or ridge of rocks lying at or near the surface of the water, or projecting but a little way above it, at full tide- improperly applied to a projecting sandbank or spit of sand, - a shoal or bank occupies a wider area than a reef, and is for the most part composed of soft material, as mud, sand, and gravel.
  24. A row of short ropes stretching across a sail for the purpose of tying the strip of sail above the reef up to the yard, and so diminishing the size of the sail- when loose they hang against the sail like the teeth of a comb, whence apparently the name.
  25. Reefy.
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