Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

ruffle - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] ruffle pronunciation in British English /ˈrʌf(ə)l/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleruffling
past tenseruffled
past participleruffled
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to move something so that it is no longer smooth or even
    Don’t ruffle the tablecloth – I just ironed it.
    1. a.
      to move someones hair in a friendly way
      She kissed him on the forehead and ruffled his hair.
    2. b.
      used about birds
      The caged bird ruffled its throat feathers and sang.
      Synonyms and related words
    3. c.
      used about the wind
      a breeze ruffling the calm surface of the hotel pool
  2. 2
    to make someone feel upset
    Don’t let him ruffle you.


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog