[ skuhf-uhl ]
See synonyms for scuffle on
verb (used without object),scuf·fled, scuf·fling.
  1. to struggle or fight in a rough, confused manner.

  2. to go or move in hurried confusion.

  1. to move or go with a shuffle; scuff.

  1. a rough, confused struggle or fight.

  2. a shuffling: a scuffle of feet.

  1. Also called scuffle hoe . a spadelike hoe that is pushed instead of pulled.

  2. (in tap dancing) a forward and backward movement of the foot.

Origin of scuffle

First recorded in 1570–80; see origin at scuff, -le

Other words for scuffle

Other words from scuffle

  • scuffler, noun
  • scuf·fling·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scuffle in a sentence

  • Some children standing near a door shrieked, but the struggling, scuffling group uttered no sound.

    The Devourers | Annie Vivanti Chartres
  • Tailed by scuffling gamins, the strange little procession moved quickly down the wynd and turned into the roaring Cowgate.

    Greyfriars Bobby | Eleanor Atkinson

British Dictionary definitions for scuffle (1 of 2)


/ (ˈskʌfəl) /

  1. to fight in a disorderly manner

  2. to move by shuffling

  1. to move in a hurried or confused manner

  1. a disorderly struggle

  2. the sound made by scuffling or shuffling

Origin of scuffle

C16: from Scandinavian; compare Swedish skuff, skuffa to push

British Dictionary definitions for scuffle (2 of 2)


/ (ˈskʌfəl) /

  1. US a type of hoe operated by pushing rather than pulling

Origin of scuffle

C18: from Dutch schoffel shovel

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