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

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 Wright, 20, can be seen in a police video climbing back into the driver’s seat of a vehicle as the officers scuffle with him. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 24 Dec. 2021 The pair began to scuffle after Hindman allegedly grabbed her, with the women ending up on the ground. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, 1 Nov. 2021 Ian Anderson carried a no-hitter into the seventh as Milwaukee's offense continued to scuffle in the pre-Willie Adames days. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Sep. 2021 At the event, fellow rapper Machine Gun Kelly (real name Colson Baker) also appeared to scuffle with Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor before going backstage. Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY, 15 Sep. 2021 The officers and Wright appeared to scuffle as the cops attempt to pull Wright from the car. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 17 May 2021 The Dodgers may be highly overrated and will scuffle around all season. Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2021 Every four years, there is a fight from one side of the country to the next as partisans scuffle in a bid for power and political preeminence. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2021 After a Maori prayer, the kiwis are let go to scuffle into holes scraped for them under some beech trees. Naomi Arnold, Washington Post, 31 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for scuffle

Time Traveler

The first known use of scuffle was in 1590

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Dictionary Entries Near scuffle



scuffle hoe

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Statistics for scuffle

Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scuffle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

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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 : scurry


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

More from Merriam-Webster on scuffle

Nglish: Translation of scuffle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scuffle for Arabic Speakers


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