Definition of gruff adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɡrʌf//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡrʌf//
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  1. 1(of a voice) deep and rough, and often sounding unfriendly
  2. 2(of a person’s behaviour) unfriendly and impatient Beneath his gruff exterior, he's really very kind-hearted.
  3. Word Originlate 15th cent. (in the sense ‘coarse-grained’): from Flemish and Dutch grof ‘coarse, rude’, of West Germanic origin.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: gruff