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ruffle

1
[ruhf-uhl]
verb (used with object), ruf·fled, ruf·fling.
  1. to destroy the smoothness or evenness of: The wind ruffled the sand.
  2. to erect (the feathers), as a bird in anger.
  3. to disturb, vex, or irritate: to be ruffled by a perceived slight.
  4. to turn (the pages of a book) rapidly.
  5. to pass (cards) through the fingers rapidly in shuffling.
  6. to draw up (cloth, lace, etc.) into a ruffle by gathering along one edge.
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verb (used without object), ruf·fled, ruf·fling.
  1. to be or become ruffled; undulate; flutter: Flags ruffle in the wind.
  2. to be or become vexed or irritated.
  3. to put on airs; swagger.
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noun
  1. a break in the smoothness or evenness of some surface; undulation.
  2. a strip of cloth, lace, etc., drawn up by gathering along one edge and used as a trimming on a dress, blouse, etc.
  3. some object resembling this, as the ruff of a bird.
  4. disturbance or vexation; annoyance; irritation: It is impossible to live without some daily ruffles to our composure.
  5. a disturbed state of mind; perturbation.
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Origin of ruffle

1
1250–1300; Middle English ruffelen (v.); cognate with Low German ruffelen to crumple, rumple; compare Old Norse hruffa to scratch
Related formsruf·fly, adjectiveruf·fler, noun

Synonyms for ruffle

Antonyms for ruffle

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

Examples from the Web for ruffly

Historical Examples of ruffly

  • Women 'most alluz is,—'specially wen it's so ruffly as it is to-day.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 4, No. 23, September, 1859

    Various

  • "Then take three, one for the waist and two for the ruffly skirt," said Rose.


British Dictionary definitions for ruffly

ruffle

1
verb
  1. to make, be, or become irregular or rumpledto ruffle a child's hair; a breeze ruffling the water
  2. to annoy, irritate, or be annoyed or irritated
  3. (tr) to make into a ruffle; pleat
  4. (of a bird) to erect (its feathers) in anger, display, etc
  5. (tr) to flick (cards, pages, etc) rapidly with the fingers
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noun
  1. an irregular or disturbed surface
  2. a strip of pleated material used for decoration or as a trim
  3. zoology another name for ruff 1 (def. 2)
  4. annoyance or irritation
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Word Origin for ruffle

C13: of Germanic origin; compare Middle Low German ruffelen to crumple, Old Norse hrufla to scratch

ruffle

2
noun
  1. a low continuous drumbeat
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verb
  1. (tr) to beat (a drum) with a low repetitive beat
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Word Origin for ruffle

C18: from earlier ruff, of imitative origin

ruffle

3
verb
  1. (intr) archaic to behave riotously or arrogantly; swagger
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Word Origin for ruffle

C15: of obscure origin
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 ruffly

ruffle

v.

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.

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ruffle

n.

"ornamental frill," 1707, from ruffle (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper