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

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 But others have seemed nervous, mumbling or shuffling to find their papers. Mel Fronczek, The Indianapolis Star, "Retired teachers volunteer for Indiana K-12 homework help hotline," 18 May 2020 Besides, by moving and shuffling leaves, a gobbler thinks another turkey is coming to him. Michael Hanback, Outdoor Life, "25 Top Spring Turkey Hunting Tips," 20 Apr. 2020 Spicer was severely sleep-deprived, and spent most of her time shuffling from one doctor’s appointment to the next. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Ten questions about mothers’ mental health could promote resilient pregnancies," 3 Dec. 2019 South Carolina, still buoyed by its win over Georgia, looked strong well into the second half and seemed poised once more shuffle the SEC East race with an upset. San Diego Union-Tribune, "No. 9 Florida bounces back with 38-27 win over Gamecocks," 19 Oct. 2019 Airlines that want to put freight in aircraft cabins must shuffle the goods through the smaller passenger entrances. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Grounded passenger jets are causing an unexpected bottleneck," 14 May 2020 Ray Durham shuffled the ball to J.J. Hardy covering second, and his toss to Prince Fielder at first base ignited a wild celebration that featured the burly Sabathia screaming on the mound. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Ryan Braun sends Brewers back to playoffs after 26 years," 11 May 2020 Workers shuffled in and out as needed to keep fish fed, perform maintenance on facilities and do other assignments. Matt Williams, Dallas News, "Not a typical spring season," 9 May 2020 Lions' needs: The Lions shuffled the cards in their secondary this offseason, but on paper, the group isn’t much better than the one that gave up the most passing yards in the NFL in 2019. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions need help at corner, safety: Here are their options in 2020 NFL draft," 21 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Also lost in the shuffle were the lofty plans of countless Gen Z environmental activists, many of whom had been organising community-wide celebrations in honour of Earth Day on April 22. Rachel Tepper Paley,, "How 4 Gen Z Activists Are Approaching Earth Day This Year," 22 Apr. 2020 Several other tournaments will also be involved in the shuffle. Mark Kazlowski, Dallas News, "Local Links: Denton County opens golf courses eight days after being closed by executive order," 15 Apr. 2020 While Milwaukee's host committee was rocked by a leadership shuffle and staff was reduced during the pandemic, Charlotte's organizers have so far had a smoother ride. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Republicans moving 'full steam ahead' for 2020 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina," 29 Apr. 2020 Beach Boys heads beg to differ: Blaine’s sly shuffle and anxious fills nail the impudence and insecurity of puppy love. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Hal Blaine: Every No. 1 Hit The Wrecking Crew Drummer Played On," 12 Mar. 2019 The mass shuffle came as the economy buckled, thrusting the $194-billion-a year U.S. advertising industry further into tumult. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, "The coronavirus mass shuffle in advertising: Dropped TV spots and emotional campaigns," 8 Apr. 2020 They're certainly not required to complete that snack time shuffle from living room to kitchen, after all. Amanda Randone,, "You Only Have 24 Hours To Shop This Free People Denim Sale," 1 Apr. 2020 In the past year, Swedbank has undergone a leadership shuffle, hiring top risk and compliance executives. Dominic Chopping, WSJ, "Swedbank Fined $397 Million Over Anti-Money Laundering Measures," 19 Mar. 2020 The Fox News shuffle continued, with Sean Hannity talking about the pandemic as something other than a Democratic hoax — a huge shift from his earlier claims. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Coronavirus changed how TV news covered the Arizona Democratic primary and that matters," 18 Mar. 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

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shuffle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for shuffle


How to pronounce shuffle (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shuffle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shuffle

Spanish Central: Translation of shuffle

Nglish: Translation of shuffle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shuffle for Arabic Speakers

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