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gruff

[gruhf] /grʌf/
adjective, gruffer, gruffest.
1.
low and harsh; hoarse:
a gruff voice.
2.
rough, brusque, or surly:
a gruff manner.
Origin of gruff
1525-1535
1525-35; < Middle Dutch grof coarse; cognate with German grob
Related forms
gruffish, adjective
gruffly, adverb
gruffness, noun
ungruff, adjective
Synonyms
2. curt.
Antonyms
2. courteous.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gruff
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The voice in which he made this threat was gruff and aggressive.

    The Pace That Kills Edgar Saltus
  • “Seventeen, an it please your grace,” said Stephen, in the gruff voice of his age.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • "I guess you'll excuse me if I ain't down there to stand around on the w'arf and see you go," she said, still trying to be gruff.

  • I want you to tell me why Mr Haredale—oh, how gruff he is again, to be sure!

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • He pushed it open, but a gruff voice inquired his business, and a burly figure blocked his way.

    Ghetto Comedies Israel Zangwill
British Dictionary definitions for gruff

gruff

/ɡrʌf/
adjective
1.
rough or surly in manner, speech, etc: a gruff reply
2.
(of a voice, bark, etc) low and throaty
Derived Forms
gruffish, adjective
gruffly, adverb
gruffness, noun
Word Origin
C16: originally Scottish, from Dutch grof, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German girob; related to Old English hrēof, Lithuanian kraupùs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gruff
adj.

1530s, "coarse, coarse-grained," from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German grof "coarse (in quality), thick, large," of uncertain origin, regarded by some as related to Old English hreof, Old Norse hrjufr "rough, scabby," with Germanic completive prefix ga-. Sense of "rough, surly" recorded by 1690s. Related: Gruffness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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