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  • (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 (countable and uncountable, plural reefers) (slang)

  1. (countable) A marijuana cigarette.
  2. (uncountable) Marijuana.
    • 1982, Edward G. Fletcher; Melle Mel (lyrics and music), “The Message”, in The Message, performed by Grandmaster Flash:
      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.