- to destroy the smoothness or evenness of: The wind ruffled the sand.
- to erect (the feathers), as a bird in anger.
- to disturb, vex, or irritate: to be ruffled by a perceived slight.
- to turn (the pages of a book) rapidly.
- to pass (cards) through the fingers rapidly in shuffling.
- to draw up (cloth, lace, etc.) into a ruffle by gathering along one edge.
- to be or become ruffled; undulate; flutter: Flags ruffle in the wind.
- to be or become vexed or irritated.
- to put on airs; swagger.
- a break in the smoothness or evenness of some surface; undulation.
- a strip of cloth, lace, etc., drawn up by gathering along one edge and used as a trimming on a dress, blouse, etc.
- some object resembling this, as the ruff of a bird.
- disturbance or vexation; annoyance; irritation: It is impossible to live without some daily ruffles to our composure.
- a disturbed state of mind; perturbation.
Origin of ruffle1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a low, continuous beating of a drum.
- to beat (a drum) in this manner.
Origin of ruffle2
Examples from the Web for ruffle
The hems were slashed open horizontally—as if a ruffle was in danger of spinning right off the garment.Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquiere Shows Whispers of Brilliance in Spring 2013 Collection
September 27, 2012
All right, then; that letter I wrote is a shirt, and the welkin's the ruffle on it.Tom Sawyer Abroad
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
It is a curious fact, but it is difficult, do you know, for any one to ruffle me.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
Should she come to harm in the ruffle, where could I get such another?Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
In fact, there was nothing that the world could do to Him that could ruffle the surface of His spirit.Pax Vobiscum
A kind of ruffle or frill, worn formerly round the neck—a collar.Gomez Arias
Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
- to make, be, or become irregular or rumpledto ruffle a child's hair; a breeze ruffling the water
- to annoy, irritate, or be annoyed or irritated
- (tr) to make into a ruffle; pleat
- (of a bird) to erect (its feathers) in anger, display, etc
- (tr) to flick (cards, pages, etc) rapidly with the fingers
- an irregular or disturbed surface
- a strip of pleated material used for decoration or as a trim
- zoology another name for ruff 1 (def. 2)
- annoyance or irritation
- a low continuous drumbeat
- (tr) to beat (a drum) with a low repetitive beat
- (intr) archaic to behave riotously or arrogantly; swagger
Word Origin and History for ruffle
early 14c., "to disturb the smoothness of," perhaps from Old Norse hrufla "to scratch," or Low German ruffelen "to wrinkle, curl," both of unknown origin. Meaning "disarrange" (hair or feathers) first recorded late 15c.; sense of "annoy, distract" is from 1650s. Related: Ruffled; ruffling.
"ornamental frill," 1707, from ruffle (v.).