• WordNet 3.6
    • v ruffle pleat or gather into a ruffle "ruffle the curtain fabric"
    • v ruffle disturb the smoothness of "ruffle the surface of the water"
    • v ruffle erect or fluff up "the bird ruffled its feathers"
    • v ruffle mix so as to make a random order or arrangement "shuffle the cards"
    • v ruffle twitch or flutter "the paper flicked"
    • v ruffle trouble or vex "ruffle somebody's composure"
    • v ruffle discompose "This play is going to ruffle some people","She has a way of ruffling feathers among her colleagues"
    • v ruffle to walk with a lofty proud gait, often in an attempt to impress others "He struts around like a rooster in a hen house"
    • v ruffle stir up (water) so as to form ripples
    • n ruffle a noisy fight
    • n ruffle a high tight collar
    • n ruffle a strip of pleated material used as a decoration or a trim
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ruffle (Mil) A low, vibrating beat of a drum, not so loud as a roll; -- called also ruff.
    • Ruffle A state of being ruffled or disturbed; disturbance; agitation; commotion; as, to put the mind in a ruffle .
    • Ruffle That which is ruffled; specifically, a strip of lace, cambric, or other fine cloth, plaited or gathered on one edge or in the middle, and used as a trimming; a frill.
    • Ruffle (Zoöl) The connected series of large egg capsules, or oöthecæ, of any one of several species of American marine gastropods of the genus Fulgur. See Oötheca.
    • Ruffle To be rough; to jar; to be in contention; hence, to put on airs; to swagger. "They would ruffle with jurors.""Gallants who ruffled in silk and embroidery."
    • Ruffle (Mil) To beat with the ruff or ruffle, as a drum.
    • Ruffle To become disordered; to play loosely; to flutter. "On his right shoulder his thick mane reclined, Ruffles at speed, and dances in the wind."
    • Ruffle To discompose; to agitate; to disturb. "These ruffle the tranquillity of the mind.""But, ever after, the small violence done
      Rankled in him and ruffled all his heart."
    • Ruffle To erect in a ruff, as feathers. "the swan ruffles her pure cold plume."
    • Ruffle To furnish with ruffles; as, to ruffle a shirt.
    • Ruffle To grow rough, boisterous, or turbulent. "The night comes on, and the bleak winds
      Do sorely ruffle ."
    • Ruffle To make into a ruff; to draw or contract into puckers, plaits, or folds; to wrinkle.
    • Ruffle To oughen or disturb the surface of; to make uneven by agitation or commotion. "The fantastic revelries . . . that so often ruffled the placid bosom of the Nile.""She smoothed the ruffled seas."
    • Ruffle To throw into disorder or confusion. "Where best
      He might the ruffled foe infest."
    • Ruffle To throw together in a disorderly manner. "I ruffled up falen leaves in heap."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ruffle A strip of any textile material drawn up at one edge in gathers or plaits, and used as a bordering or trimming; a full, narrow flounce; a frill; a ruff. The term is used for such a plaited strip when much narrower than a ruff, even when worn around the neck, but it especially applies to the wrist and to the front of the shirt-bosom, as in men's dress of the early part of the eighteenth century.
    • n ruffle Something resembling a ruffle in form or position. The top of a boot.
    • n ruffle In ornithology, same as ruff, 2 .
    • n ruffle The string of egg-capsules of the periwinkles, whelks, and related gastropods.
    • n ruffle In mech., a series of projections, often connected by a web, formed on the inner face of a flange of a metal gudgeon for a wooden shaft or roller, and fitted to a corresponding series of recesses in the end of such shaft or roller, to secure a rigid attachment of the flange and prevent its turning except as the shaft or roller turns with it.
    • n ruffle Disquietude or discomposure, as of the mind or temper; annoyance; irritation.
    • ruffle To act turbulently or lawlessly; riot; play the bully; hence, to bluster.
    • ruffle To put on airs; swagger: often with an indefinite it.
    • ruffle To be rough or boisterous: said of the weather.
    • ruffle To bully; insult; annoy.
    • n ruffle A brawl; a quarrel; a tumult.
    • n ruffle Milit., a low vibrating beat of the drum, less loud than the roll, and used on certain occasions as a mark of respect.
    • ruffle To beat the ruffle on: as, to ruffle a drum.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Ruffle ruf′l to make like a ruff, to wrinkle: to form into plaits: to form with ruffles: to disorder: to agitate
    • v.i Ruffle to grow rough: to flutter
    • n Ruffle annoyance: a quarrel: a plaited article of dress: a tumult: agitation
    • v.i Ruffle ruf′l to act turbulently: to swagger
    • v.t Ruffle to bully
    • ***


Ruffle a few feathers - If you ruffle a few feathers, you annoy some people when making changes or improvements.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Perhaps of different origin from ruffle, to wrinkle; cf. OD. roffeln, roffen, to pander, LG. raffein, Dan. ruffer, a pimp. Cf. Rufflan


In literature:

Just then the first puff of the coming breeze swept up the river, ruffling its hitherto glassy surface.
"Ungava" by R.M. Ballantyne
De two petticoats she gimme to wear wid my weddin' dress was ruffled to beat de band and had trimmin' on evvy ruffle.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States" by Work Projects Administration
Not a breath of wind ruffled the calm surface of the water.
"The Naval History of the United States" by Willis J. Abbot
The ruffling winds and raging seas, In midst of all their outrages.
"The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2" by Robert Herrick
The Squire was greatly ruffled at breakfast that morning.
"The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 2, January, 1851" by Various
I know you are as good as an angel, but I am quite certain that he ruffles you up the wrong way.
"Red Rose and Tiger Lily" by L. T. Meade
Why should one be ruffled because others are unfeeling and impertinent; it is their misfortune, not ours.
"Julian Home" by Dean Frederic W. Farrar
He saw his wife's face, looking so little and white from out a ruffled lace cap.
"The Best Short Stories of 1919" by Various
It's an old one, and the ruffle is torn anyhow.
"Marjorie's Busy Days" by Carolyn Wells
The tops of the sleeves were trimmed with four or five ruffles and there were two ruffles around the neck.
"A Little Girl in Old New York" by Amanda Millie Douglas

In poetry:

Willow's branches:
Blue and twisted threads.
Time and again, in spring
The ruffled flowers
Have unravelled.
"Willow's branches" by Ki no Tsurayuki
I cannot await him longer.
Love, ruffled against delay,
A moment fiercer, stronger,
Beats,—flutters,—faints away!
"The Human Tragedy ACT I" by Alfred Austin
Underlying all the sunshine,
Whispering through every breeze,
As it crests the ruffled ocean
Or sways the forest trees.
"Thoughts" by Nora Pembroke
On the stream of wedded life
Hath your bark begun to glide;
Oh! may no sad breath of strife
Ever ruffle its smooth tide.
"Written In A Bride's Album" by Alfred Gibbs Campbell
Within an unseen cage he sings,
Hung high above t e rush of feet,
He ruffles up his little wings,
This poet of the noisy street.
"The Caged Lark" by Alexander Anderson
Only a tender, unnamed half-regret
For the lost beauty of the gracious morn;
A yearning aspiration, fainter yet,
For brighter suns in joyous days unborn,
Now while brief showers ruffle grass and corn,
And all the earth lies shadowed, grave, and wet;
"Epochs" by Emma Lazarus

In news:

Nonorganic Exceptions Ruffle Enthusiasts of Organic Food.
This wool-blend navy jacket is military-inspired, with decorative buttons dotting the front and ruffles that lend a feminine edge.
Feathers ruffled at NATA summit.
Tweet has Greenville's feathers ruffled .
Lawyers ruffling feathers of Las Vegas showbiz scene.
Columbia cluckers not ruffling too many feathers.
A Senator Arrives, Ruffling Feathers.
Rooster's crow sure is ruffling some feathers.
Iowa Gov Terry Branstad has ruffled the feathers of state GOP leaders by proposing what many of them regard as unthinkable: Eliminating the 33-year-old Ames Straw Poll.
Um, are those ruffles seriously Vogue -approved.
NEW YORK— Oliver Stone has never been shy about ruffling feathers with his take on real-life events.
Oliver Stone has never been shy about ruffling feathers with his take real-life events.
For the first time, after Stillwater's chicken-keeping ordinance was approved loose chickens ruffled some neighborhood feathers enough Sunday afternoon to involve police.
The outfit features a ruffled, black lingerie-like top that resembles a corset, and nude shorts that some say are too revealing.