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[rahyl] /raɪl/
verb (used with object), riled, riling. Chiefly Northern and North Midland U.S.
to irritate or vex.
to roil (water or the like).
Origin of rile
First recorded in 1815-25; variant of roil
1. irk, annoy, provoke, chafe, nettle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for riles
Historical Examples
  • Thet is, he's cruel when I riles him, as I got a habit o' doin'.

    Mary Louise in the Country L. Frank Baum (AKA Edith Van Dyne)
  • The idea of his threatenin' to shoot me with my own gun; that's what riles me most.

    Canoe Boys and Campfires William Murray Graydon
  • I jest can't put my finger on the spot that riles me, but that man riles me.

    Drusilla with a Million Elizabeth Cooper
  • About that, too, there is something that riles the New England blood in my veins.

    Phemie Frost's Experiences Ann S. Stephens
  • Could Mr. riles spare London from nine to eleven for a job like that?

    The Bail Jumper Robert J. C. Stead
  • In the home of riles I am afraid you have seen but little self-control in any form.

    The Bail Jumper Robert J. C. Stead
  • When you chuck it 'em as you dash by, it riles wus than the row and the dust!

  • Them that likes masters and mistresses may have them, for all me; but it riles me to meet with meanness.

    Wyandotte James Fenimore Cooper
  • It riles her, and a riled woman burns up things: masters, husbands, cooking or worse.

    The Daredevil

    Maria Thompson Daviess
  • That's the way your mind works when you are with her, till it seems a plain waste of time, and riles you way down to the ground.

    Joyce of the North Woods Harriet T. Comstock
British Dictionary definitions for riles


verb (transitive)
to annoy or anger; irritate
(US & Canadian) to stir up or agitate (water, etc); roil or make turbid
Word Origin
C19: variant of roil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for riles



1825, American English spelling alteration to reflect a dialectal pronunciation of roil (q.v.); cf. heist from hoist and in the same era spile for spoil (v.). Bartlett writes that in both England and America roil "is now commonly pronounced and written rile" ["Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]. Related: Riled; riling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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