Definition of gruff
- a gruff reply
- a gruff voice
Don't be fooled by his gruff manner—he's really very kind.
He spoke in a gruff voice.
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.
fixed, hard, hardened, hardheaded, immovable, implacable, inflexible, ironhanded, mulish, obdurate, obstinate, rigid, self-willed, set, stiff, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding, willful (or wilful);
: rough or very serious in manner or speech
of a voice : low and rough
What made you want to look up gruff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Odd Habits and Quirks Quiz