adjective, gruff·er, gruff·est.
- gruenberg, louis,
Origin of gruff
Examples from the Web for gruffness
Daddy felt that gruffness was not quite so easy as it had seemed.Danger! and Other Stories|Arthur Conan Doyle
It was with a mingling of gruffness and dignity that he greeted Mr. Waldemar an hour later.Average Jones|Samuel Hopkins Adams
For all his gruffness and seeming impatience, D'Hrouville has never yet made a blunder or a mistake.The Grey Cloak|Harold MacGrath
Norton looked genuinely uncomfortable, and, probably in consequence, he answered her with a gruffness that sounded brutal.The Swindler and Other Stories|Ethel M. Dell
His gruffness had forsaken him, and he came forward with an unembarrassed and dignified bearing.Erling the Bold|R.M. Ballantyne
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.