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

As particles shuffle and transform, a record of the past always remains encoded in the present and future. Quanta Magazine, "Philosophers Debate New ‘Sonic Black Hole’ Discovery," 30 June 2019 Vysk has had trouble maintaining a headquarters, shuffling around the San Antonio area — including a brief stay at a Monte Vista residence that was owned by a company controlled by Cocchia. Patrick Danner,, "Loss of patents marks latest woes for San Antonio tech startup," 21 June 2019 Members of Congress are usually judged only insofar as they are allied with or against him, giving them an incentive to shuffle authority off to the executive branch. Jay Cost, National Review, "Restoring Congress: The Parties Are a Solution," 17 June 2019 My middle school years were spent shuffling between two very different households: one that was freewheeling and laid-back, and one where there were rules and high expectations that shouldn’t be questioned. Cathy Free, Twin Cities, "Cathy Free: A treasured letter from Dad," 15 June 2019 The drive robots continue to shuffle around for a few minutes, with their incessant electric white noise, until suddenly the place falls almost silent. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Inside the Amazon Warehouse Where Humans and Machines Become One," 5 June 2019 But instead of 200 select attendees, there are 3,000 of us shuffling around in lanyards, backpacks, and comfy shoes. James Vincent, The Verge, "I welcomed our new robot overlords at Amazon’s first AI conference," 27 June 2019 Harvey Weinstein’s then defence lawyer, Jose Baez, told reporters last January, cameras shuttering as the movie mogul shuffled out of a New York courthouse. The Economist, "Harvey Weinstein’s trials," 22 June 2019 An elderly woman in a turquoise windbreaker shuffled behind them. Rachel Swan,, "BART’s end of the line surges with homeless as misery plays out each night," 22 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The space will offer early century style games including bumper pool, tabletop shuffle board and an antique poker table. Yvonne Zusel,, "Check out renderings for the new bar and event spaces coming to Ponce City Market," 25 Feb. 2018 And speaking of play, the spot has an area with vintage and new arcade games such as Pac-Man, pinball, shuffle alley bowling, and a pool table. Michael Klein,, "Arcade games at new Suburban Brewing Co. in Chester County," 28 Jan. 2018 Buzzard Beach has table top shuffle board and arcade games which gives it a slight edge over Dave's. Jared Bajkowski, kansascity, "The best dive bars of Kansas City, readers say | 2018 | The Kansas City Star," 26 Jan. 2018 But there's got to be room for an eyebrow raise and an ambivalent shuffle-step to the side when something new rolls up the parade route. Chelsea Brasted,, "Arcade Fire on the bayou: The band's new Mardi Gras parade seems OK ... or not?," 11 Jan. 2018 Five Top 10 teams lost last week, leading to a Top 10 shuffle. Elton Alexander,, "Virginia still No. 1 in AP Top 25 poll, Villanova No. 2," 5 Mar. 2018 Lost in the shuffle this offseason, Escobar remains a free agent, too. Rustin Dodd, kansascity, "18 KC Royals predictions for 2018, Eric Hosmer, wins, losses | The Kansas City Star," 17 Jan. 2018 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

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

14 Jul 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).


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

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!