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1. A strip of frilled or closely pleated fabric used for trimming or decoration.
2. A ruff on a bird.
3. An irregularity or a slight disturbance of a surface: the ruffle on the lake.
4. A beating or rustling sound: the ruffle of drums in the distance; the ruffle of a skirt on the floor.
v. ruf·fled, ruf·fling, ruf·fles
1. To disturb the smoothness or regularity of; ripple: The wind ruffled the water.
a. To pleat or gather (fabric) into a ruffle.
b. To put a ruffle on (a garment, for example).
3. To erect (the feathers). Used of birds.
4. To discompose or annoy; fluster: a book that is bound to ruffle some people.
5. To flip through (the pages of a book).
6. To shuffle (cards).
1. To become irregular or rough: His hair ruffled in the wind.
2. To become annoyed or flustered: What teacher doesn't ruffle when students act up in class?
a. To flip through the pages of a book: ruffled through the book until I found the picture.
b. To search for something in a container: ruffled in her bag looking for the keys.
4. To make a beating or rustling sound.
[From Middle English ruffelen, to roughen.]
A low continuous beating of a drum that is not as loud as a roll. Also called ruff4.
tr.v. ruf·fled, ruf·fling, ruf·fles
To beat a ruffle on (a drum).
[Probably from frequentative of ruff.]
intr.v. ruf·fled, ruf·fling, ruf·fles
Obsolete To behave arrogantly or roughly; swagger.
[Middle English ruffelen, to quarrel.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. a person or thing that ruffles
2. (Knitting & Sewing) an attachment on a sewing machine used for making frills
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014