Definitions for: Reef

[n] a rocky region in the southern Transvaal in northeastern South Africa; contains rich gold deposits and coal and manganese
[n] a submerged ridge of rock or coral near the surface of the water
[v] reduce (a sail) by taking in a reef
[v] roll up (a portion of a sail) in order to reduce its area
[v] lower and bring partially inboard, as of a mast on a sailboat

Webster (1913) Definition: Reef (r?f), n. [Akin to D. rif, G. riff, Icel. rif, Dan.
rev; cf. Icel. rifa rift, rent, fissure, rifa to rive, bear.
Cf. Rift, Rive.]
1. A chain or range of rocks lying at or near the surface of
the water. See Coral reefs, under Coral.

2. (Mining.) A large vein of auriferous quartz; -- so called
in Australia. Hence, any body of rock yielding valuable

Reef builder (Zo["o]l.), any stony coral which contributes
material to the formation of coral reefs.

Reef heron (Zo["o]l.), any heron of the genus Demigretta;
as, the blue reef heron (D. jugularis) of Australia.

Reef, n. [Akin to D. reef, G. reff, Sw. ref; cf. Icel.
rif reef, rifa to basten together. Cf. Reeve, v. t.,
River.] (Naut.)
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.

Note: From the head to the first reef-band, in square sails,
is termed the first reef; from this to the next is the
second reef; and so on. In fore-and-aft sails, which
reef on the foot, the first reef is the lowest part.

Close reef, the last reef that can be put in.

Reef band. See Reef-band in the Vocabulary.

Reef knot, the knot which is used in tying reef pointss.
See Illust. under Knot.

Reef line, a small rope formerly used to reef the courses
by being passed spirally round the yard and through the
holes of the reef. --Totten.

Reef points, pieces of small rope passing through the
eyelet holes of a reef-band, and used reefing the sail.

Reef tackle, a tackle by which the reef cringles, or rings,
of a sail are hauled up to the yard for reefing. --Totten.

To take a reef in, to reduce the size of (a sail) by
folding or rolling up a reef, and lashing it to the spar.

Reef, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Reefed (r[=e]ft); p. pr. &
vb. n. Reefing.] (Naut.)
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.

To reef the paddles, to move the floats of a paddle wheel
toward its center so that they will not dip so deeply.

Synonyms: Rand, Witwatersrand

See Also: bring down, coral reef, furl, get down, let down, lower, part, reduce, region, ridge, roll up, shrink, take down, Transvaal

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