9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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
  • The broadcasts not only rile dictators, but comfort their beleaguered opponents.
  • When you're running for office, you want to inspire and rile people up.
  • The usual tactic is to rile dissenters hoping that their retaliatory replies will be censored.
  • It certainly must have made it harder to rile different factions into applause etc.
  • Administration officials have more recently acknowledged that the scrap served no purpose but to rile up transit workers.
  • Their effort drew no takers, although it did rile the plaintiffs' lawyers.
  • Part of it is obviously to get readers because these so clearly rile people up.
  • Don't let anyone rile you into arguments over trivial points or even important ones.
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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