Etymology
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rife (adj.)

Old English rife "abundant, of common occurrence, prevalent," often of hurtful or obnoxious things, from Proto-Germanic *rif- (source also of Old Norse rifr, Swedish river, Norwegian riv, Middle Dutch riif, Middle Low German rive "abundant, generous"), said to be from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut." "The prevalence of the word in early southern texts is in favour of its being native in English, rather than an adoption from Scandinavian." [OED]

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Definitions of rife

rife (adj.)
most frequent or common;
rife (adj.)
excessively abundant;
Synonyms: overabundant / plethoric
From wordnet.princeton.edu