from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or quality of being gruff.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The characteristic or quality of being gruff

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an abrupt discourteous manner
  • noun a throaty harshness


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • A mask of gruffness is as characteristic of a Scotchman as is a/[Page lxvi]/veneer of politeness of a Frenchman.

    New Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle 1893

  • Sachs sometimes thought that his gruffness was a means to shelter himself from the emotional dangers of police work.

    More Twisted Stories Vol II Deaver, Jeffery 2006

  • But the gruffness was a bit tremulous and there were tears in the man's voice.

    Dick in the Everglades A. W. Dimock

  • Perhaps the captain missed the companionship of the stout lady he had parted from at Charing Cross, or it might be that his gruffness was a matter of habit -- at any rate, after a puff or two, he spoke to Royson again.

    The Wheel O' Fortune Louis Tracy 1895

  • "Get away, daughter," he grumbled, with that shade of gruffness which is but the transition to absolute surrender.

    Ilka on the Hill-Top and Other Stories Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen 1871

  • I will be watching closing to Trembley when Liz is pulled early. re: Matt Wieters "gruffness" ....

    Blog updates 2008

  • He doesn't ask about my parents, and aside from his usual layer of gruffness, Grandpa Phil seems content in 24-hour care facility where we dropped him off five years ago, at peace among the adult diapers and shuffle boards.

    Monkeytown excerpt 2 Chris Vola 2011

  • Nor did his possession of twenty increasing millions hint the slightest betrayal in his voice or mitigate in the slightest the gruffness of his grunt.

    CHAPTER IV 2010

  • (On this gruffness, Brooks waxes: "He's managed to preserve the patois of Chicago, the earthy freneticism of his Augie March upbringing.")

    John Wellington Ennis: How Rahm Bombed John Wellington Ennis 2010

  • He sounded desperate — plaintive even — beneath the gruffness . . . something I'd never heard before.

    Portland Music Listener [Card #5: The Heirophant] (WORK-IN-PROGRESS) Christopher Snyder 2011


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