ruffle

verb
ruf·​fle | \ ˈrə-fəl How to pronounce ruffle (audio) \
ruffled; ruffling\ ˈrə-​f(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce ruffle (audio) \

Definition of ruffle

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

b : trouble, vex is not ruffled by such barbs— Bruce Anderson
2 : to erect in or like a ruff : to cause to rise or bristle a bird ruffling its feathers
3a : to flip through ruffle the pages of a book
4 : to make into a ruffle

intransitive verb

: to become ruffled their dispositions ruffle perceptiblyLife

ruffle

noun (1)

Definition of ruffle (Entry 2 of 3)

2 : a state or cause of irritation
3a : a strip of fabric gathered or pleated on one edge
4 : an unevenness or disturbance of surface : ripple

ruffle

noun (2)

Definition of ruffle (Entry 3 of 3)

: a low vibrating drumbeat less loud than a roll

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ruffle

Noun (1)

ruffly \ ˈrə-​f(ə-​)lē How to pronounce ruffle (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ruffle in a Sentence

Verb Her hair was ruffled by the wind. He ruffled some people with his constant complaining.

First Known Use of ruffle

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun (1)

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1694, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ruffle

Verb

Middle English ruffelen; akin to Low German ruffelen to crumple

Noun (2)

ruff a drumbeat

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ruffle

Time Traveler for ruffle

Time Traveler

The first known use of ruffle was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for ruffle

Cite this Entry

“Ruffle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ruffle. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ruffle

ruffle

verb
How to pronounce ruffle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ruffle

: to move or lift (something) so that it is no longer smooth
: to make (someone) irritated, annoyed, worried, etc.

ruffle

verb
ruf·​fle | \ ˈrə-fəl How to pronounce ruffle (audio) \
ruffled; ruffling

Kids Definition of ruffle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move or lift so as to disturb the smoothness of The waters of Bird Lake were ruffled by the strong, mighty wind …— E. B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan
2 : trouble entry 2 sense 1, vex You're so calm. Nothing ever ruffles you.

ruffle

noun

Kids Definition of ruffle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a strip of fabric gathered or pleated on one edge

More from Merriam-Webster on ruffle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ruffle

Nglish: Translation of ruffle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on ruffle

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!