- 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 ruffling
The inconveniences are ruffling feathers, but such diplomatic skirmishes are more procedural than political.Pakistan-U.S. Relations Frayed But Not Collapsing
April 14, 2011
She seemed to get it too clearly cut, there was no ruffling.The Good Soldier
Ford Madox Ford
I said, ruffling up my fur and my tail, for I was very angry.Pussy and Doggy Tales
Then she had three rolls of ruffling, yards and yards in each piece.A Little Girl in Old New York
Amanda Millie Douglas
Ruffling the surface of the water for a few seconds, it passed away.Ungava
"This at least you may spare us," said Cornelia, ruffling offended.Sandra Belloni, Complete
- 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 ruffling
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.).