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.

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 Despite his affable personality and gruff coffeehouse croon, DeWyze lacked the undeniable spark and grit of Crystal Bowersox, the Janis Joplin incarnate who outrageously only placed second that season. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 2 May 2022 Current and former neighbors in Wisconsin described him as gruff, standoffish and prone to losing his temper. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2022 And yet, in a relatively early quest, Varl is able to pull off a political maneuver that Aloy, with her gruff, confrontational approach, could never do. Eric Ravenscraft, Wired, 2 Mar. 2022 Slay’s gruff manner and mid-song shouts would go on to influence his contemporaries, like DJ Clue, a one-time rival, and those who followed, like DJ Whoo Kid and DJ Drama. New York Times, 18 Apr. 2022 Premiering with two episodes on April 15 on (Amazon) Prime Video, the series does indeed center on an especially broody Brolin as Royal Abbott, the gruff patriarch of a family ranch on a plot of Wyoming land with a gaping secret. Caroline Framke, Variety, 14 Apr. 2022 One person can even be seeing playing the drums on a makeshift stage while Jon Bon Jovi’s gruff voice blasts from the speakers. Christi Carrasstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2022 Despite Grol’s gruff exterior, flickers of a dry sense of humor peek through. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Mar. 2022 Traveling to Hiroshima to direct a performance of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, a gruff, silent young woman is assigned to act as his chauffeur, ferrying him around the city in his bright red Saab 900. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pompeo, often gruff in interactions with reporters, is a skilled retail politician and, although not a soaring orator, is adept at holding an audience’s attention. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, 2 Mar. 2021 See More

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.

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

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

Verb

derivative of gruff entry 1

Learn More About gruff

Dictionary Entries Near gruff

gruesome

gruff

grugru

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Statistics for gruff

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gruff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gruff. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for gruff

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

More from Merriam-Webster on gruff

Nglish: Translation of gruff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gruff for Arabic Speakers

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