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

Examples of shuffle in a Sentence

Verb 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? Noun 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 Two billion years later, all eukaryotes have the genes to shuffle their decks. Ilana E. Strauss, The Atlantic, "The Sex Lives of Single-Celled Organisms," 11 Nov. 2020 Before drawing the cards, your reader will ask spirit guides for messages, spread energy through the deck by tapping on the cards, and then shuffle them several times. Norcal Marketing, Chron, "Best Tarot Readings Online: 5 Most Accurate Tarot Card Reading Sites of 2021," 28 Jan. 2021 Firms will still be able to shuffle personal data electronically across the U.K.-EU border on Jan. 1, for up to six months. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "The U.K. Is Finally Cutting Ties With the EU. Here’s What Changes.," 31 Dec. 2020 But, the Dodgers don’t usually give big contracts to relief pitchers and shuffle the bullpen deck often during the season. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers Dugout: Answering some off-season questions," 29 Dec. 2020 If Ragnow cannot play, the Lions could shuffle personnel on their offensive line, moving left guard Jonah Jackson to center and starting Joe Dahl at guard. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Matthew Stafford gets Brett Favre treatment with injuries: If he says he can go, he can go," 18 Dec. 2020 Governments facing pressure to reform police may shuffle around personnel or rebrand maligned units – but cosmetic changes cannot fix root problems that date back decades, even centuries. Samuel Fury Childs Daly, The Conversation, "Nigerians got their abusive SARS police force abolished – but elation soon turned to frustration," 8 Dec. 2020 Games in the final three weeks could further shuffle those spots. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "Bowl projections: Ohio State has uneasy hold on final College Football Playoff spot," 1 Dec. 2020 Grandpa would shuffle with the finesse of a magician and deal us all 10 cards. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Our favorite card games for holiday fun, from Brisc to Slap," 21 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The shuffle also allows the Twins to replace utility man Marwin Gonzalez, who is a free agent, with a younger and more dangerous offensive player in Arraez, who has batted .331 with a .819 OPS in his two seasons in Minnesota. Phil Miller, Star Tribune, "Twins adding four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop Andrelton Simmons," 26 Jan. 2021 The Week 12 shuffle will also affect the Steelers' Week 13 schedule. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "No 'Thursday Night Football' NFL game for Week 13. Here's why.," 4 Dec. 2020 The schedule shuffle restores what is an annual matchup against Duke since UM joined the ACC in 2005. David Furones,, "Miami Hurricanes return to game action for first time in three weeks at Duke," 4 Dec. 2020 The defensive backfield shuffle comes at a horrible time with Texans killer T.Y. Hilton coming to town Sunday. Matt Young, Chron, "What Will Fuller, Bradley Roby suspensions mean for Texans," 1 Dec. 2020 By the end of July, the Pentagon had created a European force posture plan to rationalize the shuffle. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Biden likely to scrap parts of Trump decision to pull troops from Germany," 12 Nov. 2020 The 6-foot-1, 190-pound cornerback was one of seven former starters who departed following coach Thomas Hammock’s first season in the roster shuffle that often occurs following a coaching change. Rick Armstrong,, "Oswego East graduate Antwain Walker finalizes transfer from NIU, finds new home at Temple: ‘It was time for a fresh start.’," 10 Nov. 2020 Traylor said the group performed well despite the shuffle, but evidence of wear and tear began to show across the roster. Greg Luca,, "UTSA looking to write fresh chapter in matchup against Louisiana Tech," 23 Oct. 2020 The most significant schedule shuffle was a prime Week 4 matchup between the Chiefs and Patriots, originally slotted for the high-value late CBS window. Jeff Nowak,, "Saints TV ratings fall in New Orleans, but 'nobody has to worry' about NFL; here's why," 20 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for shuffle

Time Traveler

The first known use of shuffle was in 1570

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Statistics for shuffle

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shuffle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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