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 ore.
Reef builder Zool., any stony coral which contributes material to the formation of coral reefs.
Reef heron Zool., any heron of the genus Demigretta; as, the blue reef heron (Demigretta jugularis) of Australia.
Reef, n. 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 p. pr. & vb. n. Reefing.] Naut. To reduce the extent of (as a sail) by rolling 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.
n 1: a submerged ridge of rock or coral near the surface of the
2: a rocky region in the southern Transvaal in northeastern
South Africa; contains rich gold deposits and coal and
manganese [syn: Witwatersrand, Rand]
v 1: lower and bring partially inboard; "reef the sailboat's
2: roll up (a portion of a sail) in order to reduce its area
3: reduce (a sail) by taking in a reef