\ 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

Gil Kerlikowske, who was commissioner of parent agency U.S. Customs and Border Protection from 2014 to 2017, riled the union by recruiting Mark Morgan from the FBI to be the first outsider to run the Border Patrol. Elliot Spagat, The Denver Post, "Racist, sexually explicit Facebook posts put Border Patrol on defensive at rough time," 3 July 2019 If someone makes an unexpected change, don’t get riled up. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: June 20, 2019," 20 June 2019 Puck’ Willis Wilcox, 49, was an integral part of getting the fans riled up in a frenzy during hockey games inside the Civic Center., "Rooting for ‘Chappy’: Why the Stanley Cup Finals are resurrecting Mobile Mystick memories," 6 June 2019 Some of my brethren and sis-tren (sis-tren?) in the heathen media tribe get all riled up if a player or coach won’t speak to them. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's TML: MLB's netting issue is complicated and we can't make the world disaster-proof.," 30 May 2019 This week commentators were riled up over that announcement that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kenndy plans to retire at the end of July. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "The Bubble: Kennedy ensured legacy by retiring before midterms, conservatives say," 29 June 2018 Partisan activists are seldom riled up over regulatory jobs, especially those at financial agencies where leaders are rarely high-profile names and often are politically moderate. Robert Schmidt,, "Progressives Ask Schumer to Pick Like-Minded Financial Watchdogs," 24 May 2018 The Blazers and their home fans will certainly be riled up after a disheartening loss in their playoff opener. William Guillory,, "Anthony Davis making sure his voice is heard with these Pelicans," 16 Apr. 2018 But when Hough opens up two large doors on the back end of the stage, the audience really gets riled up. Alexis Hobbs, Woman's Day, "Watch Dick Van Dyke Revive His 'Mary Poppins' Role in an Incredible Disney Tribute," 23 Feb. 2016

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

16 Jul 2019

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)
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rile

Spanish Central: Translation of rile

Nglish: Translation of rile for Spanish Speakers

Comments on rile

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characterized by aphorism

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