scuf·​fle | \ ˈskə-fəl How to pronounce scuffle (audio) \
scuffled; scuffling\ ˈskə-​f(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce scuffling (audio) \

Definition of scuffle

intransitive verb

1a : to struggle at close quarters with disorder and confusion
b : to struggle (as by working odd jobs) to get by
2a : to move with a quick shuffling gait : scurry
b : shuffle

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Other Words from scuffle

scuffle noun

Examples of scuffle in a Sentence

Children scuffled on the playground. Small creatures scuffled in the underbrush.

Recent Examples on the Web

The key here is Castellanos, who scuffled badly in the first two months. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers midseason grades: Ugly first half worse than expected," 10 July 2019 There are also good teams who scuffle out of the gate. Dan Labbe,, "What does the Browns record need to be in the season’s first half? Cleveland Browns 19 questions," 2 July 2019 After signing a $260 million contract in February, Arenado scuffled when the season began. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Nolan Arenado already is the best player in Rockies history, but can he get to Cooperstown from Colorado?," 27 June 2019 Some bucked arrest and scuffled with officers, who took cover inside the bar for a time before riot police arrived. Jennifer Peltz, Twin Cities, "Stories of Stonewall: How the LGBTQ rebellion left a legacy," 24 June 2019 Before San Diego police officers arrived at the scene and scuffled with the man, he was also punched, kicked and knocked unconscious by the resident of a home he’d apparently broken into , Lt. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "SDPD: Home-intruder died after fight with resident, struggle with officers," 11 June 2019 This occurred after Oakley had scuffled with arena security in the course of criticizing Knicks owner James Dolan. Michael Mccann,, "Could Warriors Strip Mark Stevens of His Minority Stake After Kyle Lowry Shove?," 6 June 2019 She was booked for the second time around 9 p.m. Louisiana Baton Rouge: State lawmakers want to crack down on parents who scuffle with referees at children’s sporting events, approving a bill to create new penalties for the behavior. USA TODAY, "Fairy houses, feuding cousins, a fish app: News from around our 50 states," 3 June 2019 The Framing John DeLorean star has scuffled with paparazzi since the '90s Ever since getting arrested in 1995 for allegedly hitting a paparazzi photographer in Los Angeles, Alec Baldwin has been known to have a bit of a temper. Mary Green,, "Alec Baldwin Explains Why He Tussles with Photographers, But Says He Doesn’t Hate the Media," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scuffle.' 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 scuffle

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for scuffle

perhaps frequentative of scuff

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Dictionary Entries near scuffle





scuffle hoe



Statistics for scuffle

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scuffle

The first known use of scuffle was in 1590

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More Definitions for scuffle



English Language Learners Definition of scuffle

: to fight briefly and usually not very seriously
: to move quickly and with short steps


scuf·​fle | \ ˈskə-fəl How to pronounce scuffle (audio) \
scuffled; scuffling

Kids Definition of scuffle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to fight briefly and not very seriously



Kids Definition of scuffle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a short fight that is not very serious
2 : the sound of shuffling

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More from Merriam-Webster on scuffle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scuffle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scuffle

Spanish Central: Translation of scuffle

Nglish: Translation of scuffle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scuffle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on scuffle

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