Open main menu


English Wikipedia has an article on:


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɹiːfə/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːfə(r)

Etymology 1Edit

From reef +‎ -er.


reefer (plural reefers)

  1. (nautical) Someone who reefs sails, especially a midshipman.
    • 1922, Katherine Mansfield, ‘Prelude’, Oxford 2002 (Selected Stories), p. 85:
      Her reefer cap was all on one side and on her cheek there was the print of an anchor button she had pressed on while sleeping.
  2. A reefer jacket; a close-fitting jacket or short coat of thick cloth.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Clipping of refrigerator.


reefer (plural reefers)

  1. (colloquial, chiefly US) A refrigerated, insulated trailer, ship or shipping container.
    • 1988, Jane Stern & ‎Michael Stern, A taste of America, →ISBN, page 41:
      Next to the cash register, a bulletin board was thumbtacked with notes from deadheaders who needed loads heading west, and shippers looking for a reefer (refrigerated truck) going down to Florida.
  2. (rail transport, US) a refrigerator car (type of boxcar).

Etymology 3Edit

Origin uncertain. Perhaps from regional Spanish grifa (cannabis) (Mexico), grifo (someone who smokes cannabis) (Central America).


reefer (plural reefers)

  1. (slang) A marijuana cigarette.
  2. (slang, uncountable) Marijuana.
    • 1982, Grandmaster Flash, "The Message":
      Daddy I don't want to go to school because the teacher's a jerk, he must think I'm a fool and all the kids smoke reefer, I think it'd be cheaper if I just got a job learned to be a street sweeper.