Definition of gruff in English:

gruff

Syllabification: gruff
Pronunciation: /ɡrəf
 
/

adjective

1Abrupt or taciturn in manner: penetrate a gruff exterior and you will find him affable
More example sentences
  • I responded nay, three times nay, though my manner had become rather gruff, and I was curt with them.
  • It is his kind, if rather terse and gruff manner that has turned his shop into an excellent meeting place for people and ideas.
  • His gruff manner always belied a kindness in him that all his close friends knew he had.
Synonyms
abrupt, brusque, curt, short, blunt, bluff, no-nonsense; laconic, taciturn; surly, churlish, grumpy, crotchety, curmudgeonly, crabby, cross, bad-tempered, short-tempered, ill-natured, crusty, tetchy, bearish, ungracious, unceremonious
informal grouchy
1.1(Of a voice) rough and low in pitch: she spoke with a gruff, masculine voice
More example sentences
  • He suddenly felt a rough rope around his neck and a gruff voice said to him, ‘Let go of the globe.’
  • Dave has a big, deep, booming gruff voice - that sounds like he gargles with gravel every single morning.
  • He'd been traveling all day and was looking for a good place to make camp when he heard the gruff voices laughing and talking loudly.
Synonyms
rough, guttural, throaty, gravelly, husky, croaking, rasping, raspy, growly, hoarse, harsh; low, thick

Origin

late 15th century (in the sense 'coarse-grained'): from Flemish and Dutch grof 'coarse, rude', of West Germanic origin.

Derivatives

gruffly

adverb
More example sentences
  • Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in.
  • When I called back next day to cancel my idea of a meeting, he said gruffly: ‘Come to lunch Sunday, if you can’.
  • Then, an off-the-cuff remark by a bookshop owner who gruffly suggested she should write something of her own changed the course of her life.

gruffness

noun
More example sentences
  • The manager - only the fifth they have had in the last 31 years - politely accepts calls at the arranged time, and has none of the disciplinarian gruffness, egotism, or eccentricity which usually characterises successful bosses.
  • Ripely fruitful, earthy nose with a hint of mineral salts leads to a delightful taste tug of war between sweet fruit and warm, earthy gruffness that keeps your interest and makes this the perfect wine for dinner.
  • They protect themselves with gruffness or acerbic wit.

Definition of gruff in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day neoteny
Pronunciation: nēˈätn-ē
noun
retention of juvenile features in the adult animal