\ ˈrī(-ə)l \
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

On Thursday’s episode of The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon riled up the audience nostalgia by adding the Backstreet Boys to his classroom instruments segment. Melania Hidalgo,, "Watch the Backstreet Boys Break Out the Classroom Instruments for 'I Want It That Way' with Jimmy Fallon," 29 June 2018 The president also riled things up on the immigration front, even as the media shift their focus to efforts to reunite more than 2,000 migrant children scattered across the country with their parents. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Targeting Trump aides: The politics of rage is out of control," 26 June 2018 Not to rile anyone up about the game Tuesday, but left-hander Matt Moore was as good as he's been in a long time. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Disappointing outcome, but Rangers made right decision on Lincecum," 5 June 2018 The move riled Assistant Chief Mark Mann, the department's No. Jason Pohl, azcentral, "Audit: Buckeye police suffered from paralyzing feuds, hostility under ex-leader," 14 May 2018 However, one backhanded compliment riled everyone up — including Christie. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Christie Brinkley Had the Perfect Response for a Fan Who Said She "Looks Old Now"," 10 May 2018 The coach, who obviously didn’t want the quote attributed to him for fear of riling the league office, probably was still being too nice. Andy Staples,, "How 'Scheduling for Success' Can Help the Pac-12 Keep Pace in the Playoff Era," 7 May 2018 In the process of leaning on a tech dictum that prioritizes asking for forgiveness rather than permission, tech companies often rile up city officials, activists and citizens. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "In the Scooter Wars of 2018, it's not really about the scooters," 21 June 2018 The caravan has riled President Donald Trump who called for tougher border security and a wall, and vowed not to let them into the country. Khushbu Shah, CNN, "A few migrants from caravan begin asylum process with US," 1 May 2018

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

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rile

The first known use of rile was in 1624

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More Definitions for rile



English Language Learners Definition of rile

: to make (someone) angry : to irritate or annoy (someone)

: to make (someone) very excited


\ ˈrīl \
riled; riling

Kids Definition of rile

: to make angry

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Comments on rile

What made you want to look up rile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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