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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce rife (audio)

Dictionary definition of rife

Widespread, prevalent, or abundant, often in a negative or undesirable context.
"The area was rife with crime, making it unsafe to walk alone at night."

Detailed meaning of rife

When something is described as rife, it suggests that it is occurring or present to an excessive or alarming degree, and it can often imply a sense of uncontrolled proliferation. For example, a region plagued by corruption may be described as rife with corrupt practices, indicating that such behavior is rampant and widespread. "Rife" highlights the prevalence or abundance of a particular phenomenon, often emphasizing the need for attention, intervention, or mitigation to address the issues associated with it.

Example sentences containing rife

1. Corruption was rife in the political landscape, eroding trust in government.
2. Misinformation is rife on social media, leading to public confusion.
3. During the pandemic, fear and uncertainty were rife across the globe.
4. The region was rife with tension due to ongoing territorial disputes.
5. Inflation is rife, causing financial strain for many households.
6. Cyberattacks have become rife, targeting businesses and institutions.

History and etymology of rife

The adjective 'rife' finds its etymological roots in Middle English, where it was spelled as 'ryfe.' This term can be traced back further to Old English as 'rīfe,' meaning 'abundant' or 'plentiful.' Interestingly, its origins can be linked to the Proto-Germanic word 'rīfaz,' which conveyed the idea of something teeming or full. Over time, 'rife' evolved to encompass the notion of something being widespread or prevalent, often with a connotation of abundance that may not always be desirable. This evolution in meaning reflects the dynamic nature of language as it adapts and reshapes over centuries.

Quiz: Find the meaning of rife

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Further usage examples of rife

1. Discrimination remains rife in certain workplaces despite legal safeguards.
2. Scams are rife online, with unsuspecting individuals falling victim.
3. The neighborhood was rife with rumors about the mysterious new resident.
4. In the aftermath of the storm, destruction was rife throughout the city.
5. Disease outbreaks were rife in overcrowded refugee camps.
6. In the crowded city, traffic congestion was rife during rush hours.
7. Drug abuse is rife among marginalized communities, necessitating intervention.
8. Conflict and violence were rife in the war-torn region.
9. The school system faced challenges with rife absenteeism among students.
10. Environmental degradation is rife due to unchecked industrial practices.
11. Price gouging became rife during the shortage of essential supplies.
12. Racial tension remains rife, prompting calls for dialogue and reconciliation.
13. The market was rife with counterfeit products, affecting consumers.
14. The company's toxic culture was rife with harassment and discrimination.
15. Corruption scandals were rife within the corporate sector.
16. Unemployment is rife, particularly among recent graduates.
17. In the densely populated city, pollution was rife, impacting air quality.
18. The epidemic of opioid addiction is rife in many regions.
19. The school's disciplinary issues were rife, prompting administrative action.



widespread, scarce, rare, uncommon


SAT 10 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Middle School 11, Crime and Lawlessness

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