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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
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gruff
  • His voice, gruff and glib at once, has been familiar now for decades.
  • It is remarkable how far a little respect will go, even with relatively gruff people.
  • Neal is a gruff loner with many secrets in his past.
  • He is stout, gruff and given to talking in broken phrases about marketing and democracy.
  • Today, he chose to be brief and gruff in his comments.
  • Its service is a cut above the sometimes gruff steakhouse norm.
  • Jake is gruff and good-hearted when sober but can be mean-spirited and unpredictable when drunk.
  • Shortly after the shooting, the gruff former soldier declared a state of emergency.
  • Earle sang in a gruff, offhanded voice, but the lyrics were telling.
  • Brash and blunt with a cleft chin and a bushy mustache, he projects a gruff, old-fashioned avuncularity.
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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