Definition of ruffle verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    ruffle

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈrʌfl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrʌfl//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they ruffle
    BrE BrE//ˈrʌfl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrʌfl//
     
    he / she / it ruffles
    BrE BrE//ˈrʌflz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrʌflz//
     
    past simple ruffled
    BrE BrE//ˈrʌfld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrʌfld//
     
    past participle ruffled
    BrE BrE//ˈrʌfld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrʌfld//
     
    -ing form ruffling
    BrE BrE//ˈrʌflɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrʌflɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1to disturb the smooth surface of something, so that it is not even ruffle something She ruffled his hair affectionately. A light breeze ruffled the surface of the lake. ruffle something up The bird ruffled up its feathers.
  2. 2[often passive] ruffle somebody to make somebody annoyed, worried or upset synonym fluster Nothing ever seems to ruffle Susan. She was obviously ruffled by his question. He never gets ruffled, even under pressure.
  3. Word Origin Middle English (as a verb): of unknown origin. Current noun senses date from the late 17th cent.Idioms
    ruffle somebody’s/a few feathers
     
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    (informal) to annoy or upset somebody or a group of people The senator's speech ruffled a few feathers in the business world. See related entries: Anger
    smooth (somebody’s) ruffled feathers
     
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    to make somebody feel less angry or offended
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ruffle