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[rahyl] /raɪl/
verb (used with object), riled, riling. Chiefly Northern and North Midland U.S.
to irritate or vex.
to roil (water or the like).
Origin of rile
1815-25; variant of roil
1. irk, annoy, provoke, chafe, nettle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rile
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'd be so far away fr'm the multitood, Hinnissy, that they cud on'y distinguish me rile features with a spy-glass.

    Mr. Dooley's Philosophy Finley Peter Dunne
  • They rile me—that talk about 'people in the humbler walks of life.'

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • This disappointment at the absence of the constable was something pitiful, he did so want "to yank and rile the old Britisher."

    Two Knapsacks John Campbell
  • And when you rile up at the rot about "'Arries Abroad," I agree.

  • But what used to rile me the most with him were 'is nasty, sneerin' ways at young Markham's friend, the Captain.

British Dictionary definitions for rile


verb (transitive)
to annoy or anger; irritate
(US & Canadian) to stir up or agitate (water, etc); roil or make turbid
Word Origin
C19: variant of roil
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 rile

1825, American English spelling alteration to reflect a dialectal pronunciation of roil (q.v.); cf. heist from hoist and in the same era spile for spoil (v.). Bartlett writes that in both England and America roil "is now commonly pronounced and written rile" ["Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]. Related: Riled; riling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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