ruffle(redirected from ruffling)
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Related to ruffling: flounce, ruffling feathers
ruffle a few feathers
To do something which annoys, irritates, or upsets other people. I know my presentation about the effects of climate change is going to ruffle a few feathers, but I have got to raise awareness about this issue! Harry's bombastic, arrogant demeanor tends to ruffle a few feathers, but he's a decent guy at heart.
ruffle some feathers
To do something which annoys, irritates, or upsets other people. I know my presentation about the effects of climate change are going to ruffle some feathers, but I have got to raise awareness about this issue! Harry's bombastic, arrogant demeanor tends to ruffle some feathers, but he's a decent guy at heart.
ruffle its feathers
[for a bird] to point its feathers outward. The bird ruffled its feathers when it was annoyed. My parrot ruffles its feathers whenever it is ready to preen itself.
ruffle someone's feathers
Fig. to irritate or annoy someone. I didn't mean to ruffle his feathers. I just thought that I would remind him of what he promised us.
ruffle something up
to raise something, such as feathers, up or outward. The bird ruffled its feathers up and started to preen. It ruffled up its feathers.
ruffle (somebody's) feathers
to make someone annoyed or upset Her spokeswoman wouldn't say whether the lawsuit has ruffled the singer's feathers. He tries not to ruffle feathers, and people seem to like to work with him.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form smooth ruffled feathers (to make someone feel less annoyed or upset): The candidate went out of her way to smooth ruffled feathers.
Etymology: based on the idea of a bird whose feathers are not smooth because of fear or excitement
ruffle somebody's feathers
to make someone annoyed He wasn't asked to speak at the conference, and I know that ruffled his feathers a bit.
smooth (somebody's) ruffled feathers
to try to make someone feel less angry or upset, especially after an argument I spent the afternoon smoothing ruffled feathers and trying to convince people to give the talks another chance.
ruffle someone's feathers
Annoy or offend someone, as in Calling him a tightwad really ruffled his feathers. This term alludes to the stiffened, upright feathers of an angry bird. [Mid-1800s]
To make some surface less smooth by partially lifting the individual parts that make up that surface: The wind ruffled up the bird's feathers. Don't ruffle my hair up.