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A rip (current)


  • enPR: rĭp, IPA(key): /ɹɪp/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪp

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English rippen, from earlier ryppen (to pluck), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *rupjaną, *ruppōną (compare West Frisian rippe, ripje, roppe, ropje (to rip), Dutch dialectal rippen, Low German ruppen, German Low German röpen, German rupfen), intensive of *raupijaną (compare Old English rīpan, rīepan ‘to plunder’, West Frisian rippe ‘to rip, tear’, German raufen 'to rip'),[1] [2] causative of Proto-Indo-European *roub ~ reub- (compare Albanian rrabe ‘maquis’,[3] possibly Latin rubus ‘bramble’), variant of *reup- ‘to break’.[4] More at reave, rob.


rip (plural rips)

  1. A tear (in paper, etc.).
  2. A type of tide or current.
    1. (Australia) A strong outflow of surface water, away from the shore, that returns water from incoming waves.
      • 2000, Andrew Short, Beaches of the Queensland Coast: Cooktown to Coolangatta, page 38,
        Rhythmic beaches consist of a rhythmic longshore bar that narrows and deepens when the rip crosses the breaker, and in between broadens, shoals and approaches the shore. It does not, however, reach the shore, with a continuous rip feeder channel feeding the rips to either side of the bar.
      • 2005, Paul Smitz, Australia & New Zealand on a Shoestring, Lonely Planet, page 466,
        Undertows (or ‘rips’) are the main problem. If you find yourself being carried out by a rip, the important thing to do is just keep afloat; don′t panic or try to swim against the rip, which will exhaust you. In most cases the current stops within a couple of hundred metres of the shore and you can then swim parallel to the shore for a short way to get out of the rip and make your way back to land.
      • 2010, Jeff Wilks, Donna Prendergast, Chapter 9: Beach Safety and Millennium Youth: Travellers and Sentinels, Pierre Benckendorff, Gianna Moscardo, Donna Pendergast, Tourism and Generation Y, page 100,
        Given that a large number of all rescues conducted by Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) occur in rips (a rip being a relatively narrow, seaward moving stream of water), this is critical surf-safety information (Surf Life Saving Australia, 2005).
  3. (slang) A comical, embarrassing, or hypocritical event or action.
  4. (slang) A hit (dose) of marijuana.
  5. (Britain, Eton College) A black mark given for substandard schoolwork.
  6. (slang) Something unfairly expensive, a rip-off.
  7. (computing, slang) Data or audio copied from a CD, DVD, Internet stream, etc. to a hard drive, portable device, etc.
    Some of these CD rips don't sound very good: what bitrate did you use?
  8. (demoscene, slang) Something ripped off or stolen; plagiarism.
    • 1995, "Mark Treiber", Ansi Artist Wanted! (on newsgroup
      Well that's because groups are now releaseing[sic] music in their packs as well as vgas and rips. It[sic] you check out some local area code groups I'm sure you'll find high quality ansi if the group is good enough.
    • 2000, "Jerker Olofsson", What to do about rippers....? (on newsgroup
      Scans and rips sucks, ofcourse[sic]. But a graphician, redrawing a picture does make him less good. A pixeled image should be judged by the skills and originality in the picture, not by the motive.
Related termsEdit


rip (third-person singular simple present rips, present participle ripping, simple past and past participle ripped)

  1. (transitive) To divide or separate the parts of (especially something flimsy such as paper or fabric), by cutting or tearing; to tear off or out by violence.
    to rip a garment; to rip up a floor
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      For a spell we done pretty well. Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[2]:
      A canister of flour from the kitchen had been thrown at the looking-glass and lay like trampled snow over the remains of a decent blue suit with the lining ripped out which lay on top of the ruin of a plastic wardrobe.
  2. (intransitive) To tear apart; to rapidly become two parts.
    My shirt ripped when it was caught on a bramble.
  3. (transitive) To get by, or as if by, cutting or tearing.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Granville
      He'll rip the fatal secret from her heart.
  4. (intransitive, figuratively) To move quickly and destructively.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 3:
      “Wall,” said the landlord, fetching a long breath, “that’s a purty long sarmon for a chap that rips a little now and then. ..."
    • 2007, Roger Baker, Emotional Processing (page 136)
      On 18 November 1987 a horrific flash fire ripped through the escalators and ticket hall of King's Cross tube station, killing thirty people.
  5. (woodworking) To cut wood along (parallel to) the grain. Contrast crosscut.
  6. (transitive, slang, computing) To copy data from CD, DVD, Internet stream, etc. to a hard drive, portable device, etc.
  7. (slang, narcotics) To take a "hit" of marijuana.
  8. (slang) To fart.
  9. (transitive, US, slang) To mock or criticize (someone or something). (often used with on)
  10. (transitive, slang, chiefly demoscene) To steal; to rip off.
    • 2001, "rex deathstar", Opensource on demoscene (discussion on Internet newsgroup
      opensource is a double-edged sword. while you have a chance of people using and improving on the code, you will also have the chance of lamers ripping it.
    • 2001, "Maciej Mróz", thoughts on code-sharing (on newsgroup
      I don't really care if someone rips my 3d engine, rips effects code, or anything - simply because my 3d engine and effects will be far more advanced when someone manages to use my code.
    • 2002, "Ray Norrish", Barbarian demo circa 1988? (on newsgroup alt.emulators.amiga)
      [] an old demo by some bods called "kellogs and donovan" which had ripped graphics from the game "Barbarian" []
  11. To move or act fast, to rush headlong.
  12. (archaic) To tear up for search or disclosure, or for alteration; to search to the bottom; to discover; to disclose; usually with up.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Clarendon
      They ripped up all that had been done from the beginning of the rebellion.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      For brethren to debate and rip up their falling out in the ear of a common enemy [] is neither wise nor comely.
  13. (intransitive, surfing, slang) To surf extremely well.
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Compare Icelandic hrip, a box or basket; perhaps akin to English corb. Compare ripier.


rip (plural rips)

  1. A wicker basket for fish.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for rip in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Etymology 3Edit

Origin uncertain; perhaps a variant of rep (reprobate).


rip (plural rips)

  1. (colloquial, regional, dated) A worthless horse; a nag. [from 18th c.]
  2. (colloquial, regional, dated) An immoral man; a rake, a scoundrel. [from 18th c.]
    • 1922, The Saturday Review (volume 133, page 359)
      Miss Compton, in 'Other People's Worries,' asks rhetorically whether a young rip was not in the Blank divorce case.
    • 1924, Ford Madox Ford, Some Do Not…, Penguin 2012 (Parade's End), page 76:
      If there were, in clubs and places where men talk, unpleasant rumours as to himself he preferred it to be thought that he was the rip, not his wife the strumpet.


  1. ^ Marlies Philippa et al., eds., Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands, A-Z, s.v. “ruif” (Amsterdam UP, 3 Dec. 2009) [1], citing G.G. Kloeke, “Die niederländischen Wörter ruif ‘Raufe’ und luif(el) ‘Schutzdach’”, in Rheinische Vierteljahrsblätter 17 (1952), 46-50.
  2. ^ Jan de Vries & F. de Tollenaere, Nederlands Etymologisch Woordenboek, 4th edn., s.v. “rob 3” (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 581.
  3. ^ Vladimir Orel, Albanian Etymological Dictionary, s.v. “rrabe” (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 376.
  4. ^ Wolfgang Pfeifer, ed., Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Deutschen, s.v. “raufen” (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbucher Vertrag, 2005), 1090.


Tok PisinEdit


From English reef.



  1. reef

Derived termsEdit



Compare Norwegian ripa (make scratches), Gutnish räjpä (write badly), Old High German ripan (rub).


rip (preterite ripä)

  1. (transitive) scratch, make scratches in something