gruff

adjective
\ ˈgrəf How to pronounce gruff (audio) \

Definition of gruff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : rough, brusque, or stern in manner, speech, or aspect a gruff reply
2 : being deep and harsh : hoarse a gruff voice

gruff

verb
gruffed; gruffing; gruffs

Definition of gruff (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to utter in a gruff voice or manner "Get out of bed now!" gruffed the sergeant.

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Other Words from gruff

Adjective

gruffly adverb
gruffness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for gruff

Adjective

bluff, blunt, brusque, curt, crusty, gruff mean abrupt and unceremonious in speech and manner. bluff connotes good-natured outspokenness and unconventionality. a bluff manner blunt suggests directness of expression in disregard of others' feelings. a blunt appraisal brusque applies to a sharpness or ungraciousness. a brusque response curt implies disconcerting shortness or rude conciseness. a curt command crusty suggests a harsh or surly manner sometimes concealing an inner kindliness. a crusty exterior gruff suggests a hoarse or husky speech which may imply bad temper but more often implies embarrassment or shyness. puts on a gruff pose

Examples of gruff in a Sentence

Adjective Don't be fooled by his gruff manner—he's really very kind. He spoke in a gruff voice.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tom Gregory, a newspaperman for four decades, was a gruff editor who bestrode the newsroom like an emperor, wielding his pica pole – the ruler used to measure stories – like a scepter. John Pope, NOLA.com, "Longtime newspaper editor Tom Gregory dies at 86," 15 Jan. 2021 Perhaps grandfather status loosened his collar because Saban’s dropped some of the gruff exterior and that was the case after checking another historic box Monday night in Miami Gardens. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Nick Saban REALLY loves this Alabama football team," 12 Jan. 2021 Somehow, defying all logic, Springsteen's gruff vocals work perfectly with this festive tune. Andrea Wurzburger, PEOPLE.com, "The Best Modern Covers of Classic Christmas Songs to Put You in the Holiday Spirit," 16 Dec. 2020 That didn’t work out, but Mr. Spears and Mr. Ruby, working with the artist Iwao Takamoto, created a half-hour comedy mystery with a quartet of teenagers and a goofy Great Dane with a gruff bark. New York Times, "Ken Spears, Partner in an Animation Powerhouse, Dies at 82," 19 Nov. 2020 Connie Coyne, a rough-and-ready journalist who dispensed her wisdom and gruff wit to Salt Lake Tribune readers and colleagues for nearly two decades, has died. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Connie Coyne, former Tribune editor and reader advocate, dies at 76," 13 Nov. 2020 For Girls to play chess in the basement with the gruff janitor, Mr. Shaibel. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "“The Queen’s Gambit” Is the Most Satisfying Show on Television," 13 Nov. 2020 Mary is a gruff, stolid woman who treasures her isolation and prefers manual labor to chitchat. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Kate Winslet gives her best performance in years in the striking, passionate ‘Ammonite’," 12 Nov. 2020 This Santa is a gun-toting hellraiser who’s gruff, bitter and feeling mighty unappreciated. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "‘Fatman’ trailer: Alabama’s Walton Goggins is hitman aiming for Santa," 9 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gruff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gruff

Adjective

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1706, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gruff

Adjective and Verb

Dutch grof; akin to Old High German grob coarse, hruf scurf — more at dandruff

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Time Traveler for gruff

Time Traveler

The first known use of gruff was in 1691

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Statistics for gruff

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gruff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gruff. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for gruff

gruff

adjective
How to pronounce gruff (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gruff

: rough or very serious in manner or speech
of a voice : low and rough

gruff

adjective
\ ˈgrəf How to pronounce gruff (audio) \
gruffer; gruffest

Kids Definition of gruff

: rough in speech or manner a gruff reply

Other Words from gruff

gruffly adverb
gruffness noun

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Comments on gruff

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