scuf·​fle | \ˈskə-fəl \
scuffled; scuffling\ˈskə-​f(ə-​)liŋ \

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

Brewers catchers were 14th in the majors with a .676 OPS, an indication that many teams were scuffling at the position. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Haudricourt: Numbers tell the story of the Brewers' offensive ups and downs," 22 June 2018 Adding to the pressure, the trade tensions are rising when many farmers are already scuffling. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, "Trade war threatens the GOP's firewall in 2018," 10 Apr. 2018 Spangenberg hits second Another hitter who was scuffling is not only getting more chance to play lately but on Thursday was in the No.2 spot in the order for the second straight game. Kevin Acee,, "Padres notes: Hosmer's numbers; Ross quality not enough for first time," 15 June 2018 In the video shown by Fox 6, a woman in a pink shirt is seen scuffling with the other woman, identified as an 18-year-old assistant manager, behind the counter and in front of the drive-through window and food preparation area. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burger King brawl at Waukesha shopping center results in one arrest," 25 Apr. 2018 When Young rose up to shoot, his arm got tangled up with Allen's, and the two scuffled a moment as Young tried to wrestle free. Teammates moved quickly to separate the pair, while referees also intervened. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, "Rookies Grayson Allen and Trae Young scuffle during Summer League game," 6 July 2018 Tempers are flaring once again as Wilmar Barrios head-butts Jordan Henderson in the chest while scuffling around the wall. Andrew Das, New York Times, "England Shakes Its Shootout Curse and Saves Its World Cup," 5 July 2018 The two men scuffled before Brickett pulled his weapon, the police report said. Jeff Mcdonald,, "San Diego police arrest ICE agent on suspicion of battery after road-rage incident," 15 June 2018 But 2012 and 2013 first-rounders Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini remain scuffling at Triple-A. Kevin Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud have produced 4 total bWAR in a combined 500 starts behind the plate. Jack Dickey,, "The New York Mets Could Try to Rebuild, But Why Would We Trust Them to Do That?," 11 June 2018

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

4 Dec 2018

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 \
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

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