\ ˈrī(-ə)l How to pronounce rile (audio) \
riled; riling

Definition of rile

transitive verb

1 : to make agitated and angry : upset

Choose the Right Synonym for rile

irritate, exasperate, nettle, provoke, rile, peeve mean to excite a feeling of anger or annoyance. irritate implies an often gradual arousing of angry feelings that may range from mere impatience to rage. constant nagging that irritated me greatly exasperate suggests galling annoyance and the arousing of extreme impatience. his exasperating habit of putting off needed decisions nettle suggests a sharp but passing annoyance or stinging. your pompous attitude nettled several people provoke implies an arousing of strong annoyance that may excite to action. remarks made solely to provoke her rile implies inducing an angry or resentful agitation. the new work schedules riled the employees peeve suggests arousing fretful often petty or querulous irritation. a toddler peeved at being refused a cookie

Examples of rile in a Sentence

Her comments riled the professor. one sure way to rile me is to keep yelling for me
Recent Examples on the Web This conversation covers how silence can rile, the mariachi space opera staged by a bunch of Texas students and what a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer manages to make sound look like. Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2022 Vega, meanwhile, has touted her get-out-the-vote work for Youngkin among Hispanic voters, while angling to put prominent far-right figures in her corner to rile up the base. Meagan Flynn, Washington Post, 18 June 2022 Coi made sure no one left her set on Friday with doubts about her ability to rile people up. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 13 June 2022 According to the Journal Star, authorities have reported some drivers tried to rile up crowds with dangerous tricks at the event in previous years. Abigail Adams,, 31 May 2022 Some Republicans seem to be resurfacing these false stereotypes as a political tool to rile up their base and further marginalize LGBTQ people, experts say. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 7 May 2022 Someone may speak about a delicate subject for you, or even directly rile you up to try and prompt a response from you. Tarot Astrologers,, 16 Apr. 2022 Trump is using the January 6 Committee’s blatant bias and Javert style to rile up his supporters in anticipation of a revenge-tour presidential run. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 14 Feb. 2022 But perhaps the drug could help another group of long-haulers, who are thought to harbor hard-to-reach reservoirs of virus that regularly rile the body up. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 10 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of rile

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rile

variant of roil

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Last Updated

20 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for rile


\ ˈrīl How to pronounce rile (audio) \
riled; riling

Kids Definition of rile

: to make angry

More from Merriam-Webster on rile

Nglish: Translation of rile for Spanish Speakers


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