Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

gruff

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of gruff

  1. 1 harsh and dry in sound <she had a gruff speaking voice, but a surprisingly sweet singing voice> Synonyms coarse, croaking, croaky, grating, gravel, gravelly, hoarse, husky, rasping, raspy, rusty, scratchy, throatyRelated Words growling, growly, guttural; abrasive, cacophonous, discordant, grinding, jarring, rough, scraping, scratching; cawing, raucous, screeching, squawking, strident; choked, cracked, strained, strangled; dissonant, inharmonious, unmelodious, unmusicalNear Antonyms gentle, gliding, golden, liquid, mellifluent, mellifluous, mellow, soothing, sweet, tender; satiny, silken, smooth, soft, velvety; euphonious, lyric, lyrical, melodic, melodious, musical

  2. 2 harsh and threatening in manner or appearance <I didn't exchange one word with the gruff mountaineer who sat next to me in the diner> Synonyms austere, dour, fierce, flinty, forbidding, grim, intimidating, lowering (also louring), rough, rugged, severe, stark, steely, stern, ungentleRelated Words bleak, cold, hostile, inhospitable, inimical, unfriendly, unsympathetic; adamant, bound, determined, firm, intent, purposeful, resolute, resolved, steadfast, unflinching; fixed, hard, hardened, hardheaded, immovable, implacable, inflexible, ironhanded, mulish, obdurate, obstinate, rigid, self-willed, set, stiff, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding, willful (or wilful); immutable, unchangeable; black, cheerless, dark, gloomy, glum, joyless, melancholic, moody, morose, sulky, sullen, surly; brooding, grave, humorless, melancholy, serious, sober, sobersided, solemn, somber (or sombre), staid, unsmiling, weightyNear Antonyms bland, meek, mellow, soft, soothing; easy, quiet, tranquil; agreeable, bright, cheerful, inviting, pleasant, pleasing, sweet; glad, happy, lighthearted, merry, mirthful, sunny; featherbrained, flighty, frivolous, giddy, goofy, harebrained, light-headed, playful, scatterbrained, sillyAntonyms benign, benignant, gentle, mild, nonintimidating, tender





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up gruff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to expose to danger or risk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ