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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for riles
Historical Examples
  • Just a minute, Mr. riles, the lawyer called, as his client was stepping out of the office.

    The Bail Jumper Robert J. C. Stead
  • 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
  • London glanced at the house, but there was no sign of riles; then he softly set the dog on the astonished cattle.

    The Bail Jumper Robert J. C. Stead
  • I jest can't put my finger on the spot that riles me, but that man riles me.

    Drusilla with a Million Elizabeth Cooper
  • And in the riles home culture had come to be a thing misunderstood, and self-sacrifice a thing unknown.

    The Bail Jumper Robert J. C. Stead
  • About that, too, there is something that riles the New England blood in my veins.

    Phemie Frost's Experiences Ann S. Stephens
  • riles was so dumbfounded that he pulled out ten dollars, threw it at the smiling lawyer, and proceeded down street without a word.

    The Bail Jumper Robert J. C. Stead
  • Could Mr. riles spare London from nine to eleven for a job like that?

    The Bail Jumper Robert J. C. Stead
  • It riles her, and a riled woman burns up things: masters, husbands, cooking or worse.

    The Daredevil Maria Thompson Daviess
  • 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
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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