- low and harsh; hoarse: a gruff voice.
- rough, brusque, or surly: a gruff manner.
Origin of gruff
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gruffness
Again, in spite of the gruffness, I felt that wistful quality in him.The Harbor
To prove this he wilfully exaggerated his gruffness and curtness of manner.His Masterpiece
Daddy felt that gruffness was not quite so easy as it had seemed.Danger! and Other Stories
Arthur Conan Doyle
Under his gruffness there was a lot of sentiment and tenderness.The Blue Wall
Richard Washburn Child
In her excitement, the gruffness of his tone passed unobserved.'Me-Smith'
- rough or surly in manner, speech, etca gruff reply
- (of a voice, bark, etc) low and throaty
Word Origin and History for gruffness
1530s, "coarse, coarse-grained," from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German grof "coarse (in quality), thick, large," of uncertain origin, regarded by some as related to Old English hreof, Old Norse hrjufr "rough, scabby," with Germanic completive prefix ga-. Sense of "rough, surly" recorded by 1690s. Related: Gruffness.