adjective, gruff·er, gruff·est.
- gruenberg, louis,
Origin of gruff
Examples from the Web for gruff
To the hordes who wanted time with Lincoln, the gruff and efficient Nicolay was the “grim enforcer.”
Bichir manages to be gruff but sensitive, honest yet mysterious, making Ruiz a mix of righteousness and compassion.‘The Bridge’: FX’s New U.S.-Mexican Border Thriller|Jace Lacob|July 10, 2013|DAILY BEAST
He has played the gruff detective from 1987 to 2000 on Morse and from 2006 to the present on Inspector Lewis.Meet ‘Inspector Lewis’: Kevin Whately on ‘Morse,’ John Thaw, and the End of the Series|Jace Lacob|June 14, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Jamie Dimon, the gruff, silver-haired chief executive officer and chairman of JPMorgan Chase, is facing an unlikely challenge.Jamie Dimon Pushed Out at JPMorgan Chase? Fat Chance|Daniel Gross|May 8, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Even her husband, a gruff French surgeon who is more “Tiger Mom” than doting dad, thought the email was a bit curt.Nick Crews’s Daughter on Her Dad’s Viral Smackdown|Lizzie Crocker|December 1, 2012|DAILY BEAST
He felt a tug at his sleeve and heard the gruff voice of the cabby.The Web of the Golden Spider|Frederick Orin Bartlett
He was in the midst of a story, all life and animation, when the gruff words of the sentinel broke in so abruptly upon him.The Frontier Angel|Edward S. Ellis
Beppo,” said the Mexican, in a gruff voice, “bring out the horses.Frank at Don Carlos' Rancho|Harry Castlemon
"Thursday then," I heard a man's gruff voice reply brusquely.A Village of Vagabonds|F. Berkeley Smith
Thad started when he suddenly heard a gruff voice; it sounded so very close by, that his first thought was he had been discovered.The Boy Scouts' First Camp Fire|Herbert Carter
Word Origin for gruff
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.