• IPA: /ˈɹʌfəl/

ruffle (plural ruffles)

  1. Any gathered or curled strip of fabric added as trim or decoration.
    ''She loved the dress with the lace ruffle at the hem.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part II, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      Mind you, clothes were clothes in those days. […]  Frills, ruffles, flounces, lace, complicated seams and gores: not only did they sweep the ground and have to be held up in one hand elegantly as you walked along, but they had little capes or coats or feather boas.
  2. Disturbance; agitation; commotion.
    to put the mind in a ruffle
  3. (military) A low, vibrating beat of a drum, quieter than a roll; a ruff.
  4. (zoology) The connected series of large egg capsules, or oothecae, of several species of American marine gastropods of the genus Fulgur.
Synonyms Translations Verb

ruffle (ruffles, present participle ruffling; past and past participle ruffled)

  1. (transitive) To make a ruffle in; to curl or flute, as an edge of fabric.
    Ruffle the end of the cuff.
  2. (transitive) To disturb; especially, to cause to flutter.
    The wind ruffled the papers.
    Her sudden volley of insults ruffled his composure.
    • the fantastic revelries […] that so often ruffled the placid bosom of the Nile
    • These ruffle the tranquillity of the mind.
    • She smoothed the ruffled seas.
    • 1859, Alfred Tennyson, Guinevere
      But, ever after, the small violence done / Rankled in him and ruffled all his heart.
  3. (intransitive) To grow rough, boisterous, or turbulent.
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene iv]:
      The night comes on, and the bleak winds / Do sorely ruffle.
  4. (intransitive) To become disordered; to play loosely; to flutter.
    • On his right shoulder his thick mane reclined, / Ruffles at speed, and dances in the wind.
  5. (intransitive) To be rough; to jar; to be in contention; hence, to put on airs; to swagger.
    • 1622, Francis, Lord Verulam, Viscount St. Alban [i.e. Francis Bacon], The Historie of the Raigne of King Henry the Seventh, […], London: Printed by W[illiam] Stansby for Matthew Lownes, and William Barret, OCLC 1086746628 ↗:
      They would ruffle with jurors.
    • 1822, [Walter Scott], Peveril of the Peak. [...] In Four Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., OCLC 2392685 ↗:
  6. To make into a ruff; to draw or contract into puckers, plaits, or folds; to wrinkle.
  7. To erect in a ruff, as feathers.
    • ?, Alfred Tennyson, The Palace of Art
      [The swan] ruffles her pure cold plume.
  8. (military) To beat with the ruff or ruffle, as a drum.
  9. To throw together in a disorderly manner.
    • I ruffled up fallen leaves in heap.

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