- The definition of gruff is something harsh sounding, or someone who is abrupt and short-tempered.
- The low, deep and scratchy voice of a lifelong smoker is an example of a gruff voice.
- When a grumpy old man always scowls and gives short one-word answers when he is spoken to, he is an example of someone who would be described as gruff.
- rough or surly in manner or speech; brusquely rude
- harsh and throaty; hoarse
Origin of gruff; from Dutch grof, akin to German grob, coarse, surly ; from Old High German gerob ; from ge-, intensive + base akin to Old English hreof, rough, scabby ; from Indo-European base an unverified form kreup-: see graupel
- Brusque or stern in manner or appearance: a gruff reply.
- Hoarse; harsh: a gruff voice.
Origin of gruffDutch grof, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German.
(comparative gruffer, superlative gruffest)
(third-person singular simple present gruffs, present participle gruffing, simple past and past participle gruffed)
- To speak gruffly.
Middle Dutch grof (“coarse”)