ruffle feathers

Definition of ruffle feathers

informal
:to upset or offend people
  • Her research has been ruffling feathers for years.
  • His critical remarks ruffled the feathers of the board members.
  • I agreed to do what they wanted because I didn't want to ruffle any feathers.

Word by Word Definitions

ruffle play
  1. : roughen, abrade

  2. : trouble, vex

  3. : to erect in or like a ruff : to cause to rise or bristle

  1. : commotion, brawl

  2. : a state or cause of irritation

  3. : a strip of fabric gathered or pleated on one edge

  1. : a low vibrating drumbeat less loud than a roll

feather play feathers
  1. : any of the light, horny, epidermal outgrowths that form the external covering of the body of birds

  2. : plume

  3. : the vane of an arrow

  1. : to furnish (something, such as an arrow) with a feather

  2. : to cover, clothe, or adorn with or as if with feathers

  3. : to turn (an oar blade) almost horizontal when lifting from the water at the end of a stroke to reduce air resistance


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a strongly worded attack

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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