shuf·fle | \ˈshə-fəl \
shuffled; shuffling\ˈshə-f(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of shuffle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to mix in a mass confusedly : jumble

2 : to put or thrust aside or under cover shuffled the whole matter out of his mind

3a : to rearrange (playing cards, dominoes, tiles, etc.) to produce a random order

b : to move about, back and forth, or from one place to another : shift shuffle funds among various accounts

4a : to move by sliding along or back and forth without lifting shuffle one's feet

b : to perform (something, such as a dance) with a dragging, sliding step

intransitive verb

1 : to work into or out of trickily shuffled out of the difficulty

2 : to act or speak in a shifty or evasive manner

3a : to move or walk in a sliding dragging manner without lifting the feet

b : to dance in a lazy nonchalant manner with sliding and tapping motions of the feet

c : to execute in a perfunctory or clumsy manner

4 : to mix playing cards or counters by shuffling



Definition of shuffle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an evasion of the issue : equivocation

2a : an act of shuffling (as of cards)

b : a right or turn to shuffle it's your shuffle

c : a confusing jumble (as of papers or events) lost in the shuffle

3a : a dragging sliding movement specifically : a sliding or scraping step in dancing

b : a dance characterized by such a step

c(1) : a rhythm where each beat of the measure is played as a triplet with the first and second parts of the triplet tied and the third part accented

(2) : music played in a shuffle rhythm

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Other Words from shuffle


shuffler \ˈshə-f(ə-)lər \ noun

Examples of shuffle in a Sentence


He shuffled across the floor. She stood there, shuffling her feet, waiting for the bus to arrive. She shuffled the papers on her desk. The manager shuffled the batting order. Whose turn is it to shuffle and deal?


We heard the shuffle of feet outside the door. He gave the cards a good shuffle and then dealt.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Walker, Najee Good, Jeremiah George, Antonio Morrison, Skai Moore and Tyrell Adams have all shuffled in and out of the starting spots, though nothing has been solidified. Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star, "Colts observations: More throws from Andrew Luck, does John Simon have a home?," 13 June 2018 Manager Buck Showalter has shuffled Davis in the batting order, but only opportunities to lower Davis seem to follow. Eduardo A. Encina,, "As Orioles, Chris Davis search for answers, struggling slugger gets a day off to reset," 8 June 2018 Governors and state legislators have shuffled money around into other priorities that aren’t aimed at low-income individuals, and TANF funding has become a popular pot for state lawmakers to raid in a pinch. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The GOP’s Welfare to Work Pitch," 5 June 2018 Fourth Fridays have a Latin flavor, as dancers shuffle their feet and shake their booties to the tunes of Gilberto Santa Rosa and other salsa greats. Susan Dunne,, "Dancing The Night Away: Tango, Salsa Nights At Hartford Ballroom," 7 May 2018 Nikolas Cruz, handcuffed to a belly chain and shackled at the ankles, shuffled into court, head down. Tonya Alanez,, "Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz waives right to speedy trial," 27 Apr. 2018 Some members have resigned, and others have shuffled to different positions. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Who's in Trump's Cabinet? A full list of the president's top advisers," 26 Apr. 2018 In the process, two playoff-less seasons were lost — one when the front office shuffled, and another under first-year coach Bob Boughner. Matthew Defranks,, "Now a South Florida resident, Panthers owner Vinnie Viola hopes to remedy past errors, prepare for future," 18 June 2018 James and Horford embraced after the buzzer, then the Cavaliers donned NBA Finals hats and Eastern conference championship shirts before shuffling off the court to receive their trophy. Fox News, "Lebron James scores 35 as Cavs advance to NBA Finals," 28 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The executive shuffle, announced internally Tuesday, doesn’t affect the responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s No. 2 executive. Deepa Seetharaman, WSJ, "Facebook Shuffles Management Team," 8 May 2018 Performances of the renamed Paul Taylor American Modern Dance shuffle not only new Taylor with old, but both with classics by other choreographers and commissions by younger artists. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Review: Paul Taylor Classics Outshine New Dances (His and Others’)," 11 Mar. 2018 For 2019 and beyond: There will be another shuffle when the new school, now under construction right behind Whitney Young, opens over the holidays. Patrick O'donnell,, "Cleveland's Whitney Young gifted school avoids the axe as district backs off plans to break it up," 10 May 2018 The Bills offensive line is already undergoing a shuffle after center Eric Wood was diagnosed with a career-ending neck injury in January. John Wawrow, Houston Chronicle, "Bills guard Richie Incognito says he's 'done' with NFL," 10 Apr. 2018 Quarterly revenue and profit beat estimates, easing concerns that a CEO shuffle would disrupt its performance., "Steve Wynn’s ex-wife said she told company lawyer about alleged rape of employee in 2009," 29 Mar. 2018 Other climbers prefer to grab the top of the ridge and shuffle along, using their feet to smear the rock face, above a roughly 1,500-foot drop. The Atlantic, "Is Social Media Luring Hikers Into 'Death Gully'?," 17 May 2018 Laura Lichter, a Denver attorney and a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers association, said in the rush to deport children back to Mexico, legitimate asylum claims are lost in the shuffle. Jason Buch, San Antonio Express-News, "DHS officials in San Antonio call for tighter asylum laws," 1 Feb. 2018 At one point, Infowars viewers watched Alex Jones shuffle through stacks of paper on his desk, searching for a printout of a tweet in which Parkland student David Hogg made fun of Jones' supplement business. Abby Ohlheiser,, "The Parkland students outpaced them. So the pro-Trump media was prepared for the Santa Fe school shooting.," 21 May 2018

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


1570, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shuffle


perhaps irregular from shove entry 1

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Learn More about shuffle

Phrases Related to shuffle

lost in the shuffle

Statistics for shuffle

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shuffle

The first known use of shuffle was in 1570

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More Definitions for shuffle



English Language Learners Definition of shuffle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to slide your feet along the ground or back and forth without lifting them completely

: to move things or people into a different order or into different positions

: to mix (playing cards) before playing a game so that no one knows what order they are in



English Language Learners Definition of shuffle (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of moving by sliding your feet without lifting them off the ground

: the act of mixing the order of playing cards : the act of shuffling cards


shuf·fle | \ˈshə-fəl \
shuffled; shuffling

Kids Definition of shuffle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to slide back and forth without lifting He shuffled his feet.

2 : to walk or move by sliding or dragging the feet I just shuffled along.

3 : to mix up the order of (as playing cards)

4 : to push or move about or from place to place She shuffled the papers on her desk.



Kids Definition of shuffle (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a sliding or dragging walk

2 : an act of mixing up or moving so as to change the order or position

3 : a confusing jumble The idea was lost in the shuffle.

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Comments on shuffle

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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