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

Definition of rile

transitive verb

1 : to make agitated and angry : upset

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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 The #ChickenSandwichWars has ignited a storm on social media, riling up Twitter users in a debate over whether Chick-fil-A or Popeyes has the better chicken sandwich. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "Gov. Abbott caught 'cheating' on Chick-fil-A with Popeyes chicken sandwich," 28 Aug. 2019 Dunleavy vetoed more than $400 million, riling critics who say it’s too much, too fast and prompting public outrage that is fueling a recall attempt. Washington Post, "Alaska budget woes prod debate over oil-wealth fund checks," 9 Aug. 2019 His aim is to suppress their turnout while riling up his base. Noga Tarnopolsky, Los Angeles Times, "As election nears, Netanyahu intensifies his rhetoric against Israel’s Arab population," 14 Sep. 2019 The fixture was hotly contested from the kick-off and some brilliant end-to-end football from both sides got the fans riled up in the first half., "Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Reus Shines for BVB," 14 Sep. 2019 But if ambitious, young Republicans are paying more attention to the working people the president riled up in 2016 — and thinking about policies that could actually improve their lives — things may be looking up for the country. David Scharfenberg,, "How Donald Trump just might save the Republican Party — and the country," 6 Sep. 2019 Christie get everyone in the house riled up against Nick, culminating in the Taco Tuesday blowup that may have been his undoing. Dalton Ross,, "Nick Maccarone from Big Brother reveals his America's Prankster regret," 30 Aug. 2019 Other offenses in the puzzle riled for different reasons, which Rebecca Falcon, a 30-year-old crossword constructor, enumerated at length on Twitter. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Upstart Crossword Puzzle Builders Get Their Point Across (and Down)," 19 Aug. 2019 Fans online brag about Marvel movies crossing the $1 billion threshold, riling each other up to continue spending money at the box office to support the company, cast, and directors. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Avengers: Endgame fans coming to terms with Avatar remaining the top-grossing movie," 2 July 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for rile

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for rile

The first known use of rile was in 1624

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More Definitions for rile


How to pronounce rile (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rile

: to make (someone) angry : to irritate or annoy (someone)
US, informal : to make (someone) very excited


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

Kids Definition of rile

: to make angry

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More from Merriam-Webster on rile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rile

Spanish Central: Translation of rile

Nglish: Translation of rile for Spanish Speakers

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