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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kelli O'Hara, frequent nom and first-time winner, shuffled off stage in glee. Scottie Andrew And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "The Tony Awards are better than the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. Here's why you should watch Sunday," 8 June 2019 Hinch shuffled his rotation and said Miley (4-2, 3.51 ERA) would start the series finale with RHP Brad Peacock being pushed to Monday. Ken Powtak, The Seattle Times, "Astros start fast; beat Red Sox 7-3 for 10th straight win," 18 May 2019 Provenzano shuffled us to the door and made his body into an X by holding on to the exit’s top railing. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "How To Go Skydiving for the First Time," 5 Mar. 2019 Gram was shuffled off to a prep school, lots of money. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "The Byrds' 'Sweetheart of the Rodeo': A Track-by-Track Guide Ahead of the 50th Anniversary Tour," 5 June 2018 The primacy of the common good extends to everything in Sweden, including shuffling off this mortal coil. Judith Newman, New York Times, "Guides for Better Living From Around the World," 23 Jan. 2018 What’s so baffling is that the Patriots, who are better than any team at shuffling personnel to find the best matchups, left themselves with three glaringly bad matchups by benching Butler. Andy Benoit,, "A Super Bowl 52 Deep Dive Review," 7 Feb. 2018 Counsell has proven adept at shuffling players around and getting his key players ample playing time. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ryan Braun says he's open to trying first base for Brewers," 28 Jan. 2018 In early 1945, he was shuffled to a camp near Dachau and put to work building underground bunkers. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Holocaust Survivor Rushed to Make Up for Lost Time and Lives," 2 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So what will happen to all those people who lose their jobs in the shuffle? Popular Mechanics, "The iPhone Changed the World, the Self-Driving Car Is Next," 29 June 2017 Or that song that just comes on shuffle out of nowhere and transports you to a land of pure hope. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes August 27-September 2," 20 Aug. 2018 Though ABC News has not commented on the shuffle yet, Haines will reportedly join the new third hour of Good Morning America, which is replacing The Chew in the 1 p.m. time slot. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Sara Haines Is Reportedly Leaving ‘The View’ and Heading to 'Good Morning America'," 23 July 2018 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

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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Statistics for shuffle

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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 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.

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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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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