shuf·​fle | \ ˈshə-fəl How to pronounce shuffle (audio) \
shuffled; shuffling\ ˈshə-​f(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce shuffling (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from shuffle


shuffler \ ˈshə-​f(ə-​)lər How to pronounce shuffler (audio) \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

An ethereal sound, with a smooth, rangy melody that shuffles through keys, and a soft tap for a beat, fills a lab at Toronto’s Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Nathan Hurst, Smithsonian, "Can Biomusic Offer Kids With Autism a New Way to Communicate?," 2 Apr. 2018 The globe-spanning auto alliance of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is shuffling management in the wake of Carlos Ghosn’s arrest and dismissal, reassigning senior executives who worked alongside the auto titan. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Shakes Up Management After Ghosn Arrest," 13 Mar. 2019 There’s certainly no shoveling and, at the beginning, little soil shuffling. Jason Harper, Condé Nast Traveler, "On the Hunt for Dinosaur Bones in the Gobi Desert," 20 July 2018 At one point there were four more guests than places at the table, but Ellery quickly shuffled seats around and for dessert, everyone stood to eat slices of a rhubarb and frangipane tart. New York Times, "How to Host a Dinner Party, and Also Enjoy It. Really.," 5 July 2018 That's tough to do without coming off crude or corny, but Coogler has a keen eye, a wily sense of narrative (shuffling perspectives and timelines more subtly and purposefully than Christopher Nolan), and his touch with actors is very fine. Simon Abrams, The Hollywood Reporter, "A Marvel Fan and a Superhero Skeptic Debate 'Black Panther'," 21 Feb. 2018 But at the last minute, the alliance came back together and, appeasing Mr. Mattarella, shuffled Mr. Savona to the Ministry of European Affairs. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Italy’s New Populist and Anti-Establishment Government Is Sworn In," 1 June 2018 After shuffling from position to position through the first month of the season, Kingery is likely to see steady time at shortstop during Crawford’s absence. Bob Brookover,, "Phillies in need of a lefthander | Extra Innings," 30 Apr. 2018 Terence quickly put down her crossword puzzle and shuffled to the road’s median. Robert Downen, Houston Chronicle, "In pearls and blue, Houstonians say goodbye to Barbara Bush," 21 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The move marks the latest shuffle for the 30-stock index, which many investors closely watch as a gauge of blue-chip companies’ share performance. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Dow Inc. to Replace DowDuPont in DJIA," 26 Mar. 2019 And such a bureaucratic shuffle could come with a hefty price tag. Verge Staff, The Verge, "What the new Congress means for space, self-driving cars, and regulating Facebook," 7 Nov. 2018 The latest shuffle leaves Russell Stokes in charge of everything except for the natural-gas operations. Thomas Gryta, WSJ, "GE Veteran John Rice Returns to Troubled Power Unit," 19 Nov. 2018 After dinner enjoy a spirited game of pool or shuffle board in our games room. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "The Best Room At... Winvian Farm," 19 Feb. 2019 The Brewers’ back-end-of-the-pen shuffle continued Friday when Adrian Houser was returned to Class AAA Colorado Springs and Brandon Woodruff was summoned from that club. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Notes: Brandon Woodruff back for fifth stint with Brewers as shuffle of arms continues," 13 July 2018 Hollywood shuffle: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending membership invitations to a record 928 people in the film industry. Phil Rosenthal,, "With Disney and Comcast willing to discard Fox's RSNs, Cubs must wonder value of channel," 26 June 2018 Arcades, bowling and indoor golf: Main Event With locations in Tempe, Mesa and Avondale, the Main Event offers bowling, laser tag, arcade games, billiards, shuffle board and gravity rope courses. Wendy Killeen, azcentral, "Indoor playgrounds, trampoline parks and places in Phoenix kids can play and stay cool," 24 May 2018 The leadership shuffle may be more of a change in style than substance at Interior, an $11 billion agency with some 70,000 workers and responsibility overseeing drilling, grazing and other activities on public land and in federal waters. Jennifer A. Dlouhy, The Seattle Times, "Zinke’s departure puts Interior in hands of former oil lobbyist," 17 Dec. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shuffle

Statistics for shuffle

Last Updated

7 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shuffle

The first known use of shuffle was in 1570

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce shuffle (audio) \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on shuffle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shuffle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shuffle

Spanish Central: Translation of shuffle

Nglish: Translation of shuffle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shuffle for Arabic Speakers

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).


likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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