follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

ruffle1

[ruhf-uh l] /ˈrʌf əl/
verb (used with object), ruffled, ruffling.
1.
to destroy the smoothness or evenness of:
The wind ruffled the sand.
2.
to erect (the feathers), as a bird in anger.
3.
to disturb, vex, or irritate:
to be ruffled by a perceived slight.
4.
to turn (the pages of a book) rapidly.
5.
to pass (cards) through the fingers rapidly in shuffling.
6.
to draw up (cloth, lace, etc.) into a ruffle by gathering along one edge.
verb (used without object), ruffled, ruffling.
7.
to be or become ruffled; undulate; flutter:
Flags ruffle in the wind.
8.
to be or become vexed or irritated.
9.
to put on airs; swagger.
noun
10.
a break in the smoothness or evenness of some surface; undulation.
11.
a strip of cloth, lace, etc., drawn up by gathering along one edge and used as a trimming on a dress, blouse, etc.
12.
some object resembling this, as the ruff of a bird.
13.
disturbance or vexation; annoyance; irritation:
It is impossible to live without some daily ruffles to our composure.
14.
a disturbed state of mind; perturbation.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English ruffelen (v.); cognate with Low German ruffelen to crumple, rumple; compare Old Norse hruffa to scratch
Related forms
ruffly, adjective
ruffler, noun
Synonyms
1. disarrange, disorder, wrinkle, rumple. 3. upset, annoy, agitate. 10. perturbation, flurry, agitation. 11. frill, ruff.
Antonyms
1. smooth, arrange, order. 3. soothe, compose. 13. tranquillity.

ruffle2

[ruhf-uh l] /ˈrʌf əl/
noun
1.
a low, continuous beating of a drum.
verb (used with object), ruffled, ruffling.
2.
to beat (a drum) in this manner.
Origin
1715-25; archaic ruff in same sense (perhaps imitative) + -le
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for ruffle
  • Their revelation appears unlikely to ruffle diplomatic relations.
  • They ruffle their feathers in it to rid themselves of parasites.
  • We didn't really think it would ruffle any feathers.
  • Amateurs usually do their clamming by hand in summer, when the water is soft and warm and the surf a mere ruffle.
  • On the pier, pelicans ruffle their feathers and regard us in silence.
  • Well, here's a call that won't ruffle anyone, and also one that is never disputed.
  • He knew he would ruffle more than a few epaulets, even with the amnesty granted the military in the peace accords.
  • The vest, cuffs, and ruffle around the bottom of the skirt are of red velvet.
  • Heat until oysters are plump and edges begin to ruffle.
British Dictionary definitions for ruffle

ruffle1

/ˈrʌfəl/
verb
1.
to make, be, or become irregular or rumpled: to ruffle a child's hair, a breeze ruffling the water
2.
to annoy, irritate, or be annoyed or irritated
3.
(transitive) to make into a ruffle; pleat
4.
(of a bird) to erect (its feathers) in anger, display, etc
5.
(transitive) to flick (cards, pages, etc) rapidly with the fingers
noun
6.
an irregular or disturbed surface
7.
a strip of pleated material used for decoration or as a trim
8.
(zoology) another name for ruff1 (sense 2)
9.
annoyance or irritation
Word Origin
C13: of Germanic origin; compare Middle Low German ruffelen to crumple, Old Norse hrufla to scratch

ruffle2

/ˈrʌfəl/
noun
1.
a low continuous drumbeat
verb
2.
(transitive) to beat (a drum) with a low repetitive beat
Word Origin
C18: from earlier ruff, of imitative origin

ruffle3

/ˈrʌfəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (archaic) to behave riotously or arrogantly; swagger
Word Origin
C15: of obscure origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ruffle
v.

early 14c., "to disturb the smoothness of," perhaps from Old Norse hrufla "to scratch," or Low German ruffelen "to wrinkle, curl," both of unknown origin. Meaning "disarrange" (hair or feathers) first recorded late 15c.; sense of "annoy, distract" is from 1650s. Related: Ruffled; ruffling.

n.

"ornamental frill," 1707, from ruffle (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ruffle

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ruffle

12
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with ruffle

Nearby words for ruffle