Simple Definition of gruff
: rough or very serious in manner or speech
of a voice : low and rough
Full Definition of gruff
1 : rough, brusque, or stern in manner, speech, or aspect <a gruff reply>
2 : being deep and harsh : hoarse <a gruff voice>
Examples of gruff
Don't be fooled by his gruff manner—he's really very kind.
He spoke in a gruff voice.
Origin of gruff
Dutch grof; akin to Old High German grob coarse, hruf scurf — more at dandruff
First Known Use: 1691
Synonym Discussion of gruff
Definition of gruff
: to utter in a gruff voice or manner
First Known Use of gruff
Seen and Heard
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