[ US /ˈɡɹəf/ ]
[ UK /ɡɹˈʌf/ ]
  1. brusque and surly and forbidding
    a gruff reply
    a crusty old man
    gruff manner
    crusty remarks
    his curmudgeonly temper
  2. deep and harsh sounding as if from shouting or illness or emotion
    makes all the instruments sound powerful but husky
    the dog's gruff barking
    gruff voices
    hoarse cries
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How To Use gruff In A Sentence

  • his voice was gruff but there was still a hint of anxiousness in his tone.
  • The evidence she’d gathered at the beach had already arrived, delivered by a young tech who’d sheepishly entered the den of the legendary Lincoln Rhyme without a word and scurried about to deposit the bags and stacks of pictures as the criminalist gruffly directed. The Stone Monkey
  • He has become gruff and cold, a far cry from the playful, expansive carouser and rabble-rouser of the film's opening scenes. Come and Get It
  • His gruff manner always belied a kindness in him that all his close friends knew he had.
  • She was plain-featured, and had rather a severe expression on her face; her dress was as rich as any morning dress could be; her voice deep and unmodulated, -- what in a lower rank of life would have been called gruff; but that was not a word to apply to Lady Cuxhaven, the eldest daughter of the earl and countess. Wives and Daughters
  • The first Humphrey’s latitu-dinous baver with puggaree behind, (calaboose belong bigboss belong Kang the Toll) his fourinhand bow, his elbaroom surtout, the refaced unmansionables of gingerine hue, the state slate umbrella, his gruff woolselywellesly with the finndrinn knopfs and the gauntlet upon the hand which in an hour not for him solely evil had struck down the might he mighthavebeen d’Est-erre of whom his nation seemed almost already to be about to have need. Finnegans Wake
  • Some of the older pros were rough and gruff which must have influenced me. Kevin Keegan - Black and White
  • “He’s behaved like a perfect peeg!” she said gruffly, pronouncing the word cochon as though she referred to Joan of Arc’s contemporary, Bishop Cauchon. Within a Budding Grove
  • They can be seen as rough and gruff bandits of the road. The Sun
  • The male pads about, calling to females with gruff barks. Times, Sunday Times
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