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

Yola was determined to get his attention, slowly walking toward Kwame and playfully shuffling away when his gaze caught hers. Hannah Rodriguez, The Seattle Times, "New ape in town: Kwame makes rare alpha-male debut at Woodland Park Zoo," 9 Nov. 2018 James embraced Horford and Tatum after the buzzer, then the Cavaliers donned celebratory hats and T-shirts before shuffling off the court to receive the Eastern Conference championship trophy. Washington Post, "LeBron’s 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals," 28 May 2018 Our children belong as much as anyone's and should not be shuffled around like surplus furniture. Bethany Barnes,, "Portland Commissioner Eudaly blasts Portland Public Schools for ousting special education program," 5 Mar. 2018 These holes are just large enough that only certain sized salts can shuffle through. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Marvelous Mini Generator Draws Energy From Saltwater," 13 July 2016 The teens there spend their days shuffling between school classes, arts and crafts, and recreation time on soccer fields. Alicia A. Caldwell, WSJ, "Immigrant Children Are Staying Longer in Government Custody," 19 Oct. 2018 Hollywood’s first black star, Stepin Fetchit, fitted the stereotype of the slow, sly, shuffling Negro. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The 'Pressure to Make Good for Your Whole People' and the Story Behind SuperFly," 15 June 2018 Buyers spend hours shuffling between different counters to get their paperwork processed, waiting for long stretches under fluorescent lights in uncomfortable chairs. Kate Linthicum,, "There is only one gun store in all of Mexico. So why is gun violence soaring?," 24 May 2018 Said group is then shuffled off to another community because that’s not as bad as leaving them all in the wilderness. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead’s fresh start looks like a big step back," 12 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This creepy holiday can often get lost in the shuffle of trick-or-treating and school parties, which is why chef to the stars, Meg Hall, recommends throwing a more refined affair with these delicious and festive recipes. Alexis Jones, Redbook, "The Best Halloween Food Ideas for Your Adult Gathering," 2 Aug. 2018 Lost in the shuffle among global equity markets is the recent strength of Japan, which looks poised to hit a new milestone. Steven Russolillo, WSJ, "Japanese Stocks Are on the Verge of Hitting Highest Levels Since 1991," 26 Sep. 2018 Kayvon Beykpour, the former CEO of Twitter’s live-streaming service Periscope and its current GM of video, is taking over as Twitter’s top consumer product boss as part of an executive shuffle. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Five journalists are dead after a gunman opens fire at a Maryland newspaper," 29 June 2018 Teddy bears could breathe easier, as frightened children no longer clutched them with fur-gouging intensity at every post-midnight bump or shuffle., "'Out of the Wild Night': With a splish and a splot and a shree, here comes a ghostly whodunit with heart," 20 Mar. 2018 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

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

15 Dec 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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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

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a nest or breeding place

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