• synonyms


verb (used with object), riled, ril·ing. Chiefly Northern and North Midland U.S.
  1. to irritate or vex.
  2. to roil (water or the like).
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Origin of rile

First recorded in 1815–25; variant of roil

Synonyms for rile

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for riling

annoy, disturb, roil, exasperate, peeve, bother, vex, inflame, irk, irritate, gall, provoke, aggravate, acerbate, nettle, pique, grate, bug

Examples from the Web for riling

Contemporary Examples of riling

Historical Examples of riling

  • We didn't let 'em know; we just 'peared, and walked past the house, riling them.

  • I've warned you against her a dozen times, Miss Marvin, but that's what you get for riling a jealous woman!

    For Gold or Soul?

    Lurana W. Sheldon

  • It is sad to think that some carping critic had been riling the sweet soul of Nathan in the year 1732.

    The Galaxy


  • Togo was forward, amid crude surroundings, riling the brakemen with his disgusted disdain.

    The Book of Susan

    Lee Wilson Dodd

  • Their Junkers, like ours, had drunk to The Day; and they should not have let us choose it after riling us for so many years.

British Dictionary definitions for riling


verb (tr)
  1. to annoy or anger; irritate
  2. US and Canadian to stir up or agitate (water, etc); roil or make turbid
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Word Origin for rile

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

Word Origin and History for riling



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper