AskDefine | Define ruffle

Dictionary Definition



1 a strip of pleated material used as a decoration or a trim [syn: frill, flounce, furbelow]
2 a high tight collar [syn: choker, ruff, neck ruff]
3 a noisy fight [syn: affray, disturbance, fray]


1 stir up (water) so as to form ripples [syn: ripple, riffle, cockle, undulate]
2 trouble or vex; "ruffle somebody's composure"
3 to walk with a lofty proud gait, often in an attempt to impress others; "He struts around like a rooster in a hen house" [syn: swagger, prance, strut, sashay, cock]
4 discompose; "This play is going to ruffle some people"; "She has a way of ruffling feathers among her colleagues"
5 twitch or flutter; "the paper flicked" [syn: flick, riffle]
6 mix so as to make a random order or arrangement; "shuffle the cards" [syn: shuffle, mix]
7 erect or fluff up; "the bird ruffled its feathers" [syn: fluff]
8 disturb the smoothness of; "ruffle the surface of the water" [syn: ruffle up, rumple, mess up]
9 pleat or gather into a ruffle; "ruffle the curtain fabric" [syn: pleat]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Any gathered or curled strip of fabric added as trim or decoration.
    She loved the dress with the lace ruffle at the hem.


  1. To make a ruffle in; to curl or flute, as an edge of fabric.
    Ruffle the end of the cuff.
  2. To disturb ; especially, to cause to flutter.
    The wind ruffled the papers.''

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

In sewing and dressmaking, a ruffle, frill, or furbelow is a strip of fabric, lace or ribbon tightly gathered or pleated on one edge and applied to a garment, bedding, curtain or other textile as a form of trimming. A ruffle without gathers or pleats may also be made by cutting a curved strip of fabric and applying the inner or shorter edge to the garment.
A deep (wide) ruffle is usually called a flounce (earlier frounce or fronce).
Ruffles appeared at the draw-string necklines of full chemises in the 15th century, evolved into the separately-constructed ruff of the 16th century, and remained a fashionable form of trim off-and-on into modern times.



  • Picken, Mary Brooks: The Fashion Dictionary, Funk and Wagnalls, 1957. (1973 edition ISBN 0-3081-0052-2)
  • Arnold, Janet: Patterns of Fashion: the cut and construction of clothes for men and women 1560-1620, Macmillan 1985. Revised edition 1986. (ISBN 0-8967-6083-9)
  • Baumgarten, Linda: What Clothes Reveal: The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America, Yale University Press,2002. ISBN 0-3000-9580-5
  • Tozer, Jane and Sarah Levitt, Fabric of Society: A Century of People and their Clothes 1770-1870, Laura Ashley Press, ISBN 0-9508-9130-4
ruffle in Japanese: フリル

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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