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 in a Sentence
Don't be fooled by his gruff manner—he's really very kind.
He spoke in a gruff voice.
Recent Examples of gruff from the Web
These days superheroes tend to be the epitome of manliness, all rippling muscle, gruff voices and knockout punches.
His fiance’s gruff father (Robert DeNiro) used to be a CIA intel officer, is suspicious of Greg, and has a nose for B.S.
A chubby kung fu-loving bear is replacing a gruff but lovable ogre at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Vulcan, played by a reliably gruff and rugged Corbin Bernsen, makes bullets that fill the guns which supply the nation and feed its obsession with firearms.
Despite his gruff exterior, kids loved playing for him.
Bunning's gruff demeanor labeled him as rude by political enemies and straightforward by friends.
The reported tidbits of his gruff exchanges with European leaders — combined with images of bemused dignitaries cringing through a series of awkward photo ops — were evidence enough, but the statements that followed the trip confirmed it.
Jernigan's got a gruff element to his voice, but pares it down, dampening it to something more comforting than harsh.
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.
Synonym Discussion of gruff
Definition of gruff
: to utter in a gruff voice or manner “Get out of bed now!” gruffed the sergeant.
GRUFF Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of gruff for English Language Learners
: rough or very serious in manner or speech
of a voice : low and rough
GRUFF Defined for Kids
Definition of gruff for Students
: rough in speech or manner a gruff reply
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).