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Related to ruffle: ruffle 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 (one's) feathers
To annoy, irritate, or upset someone. Sarah's just teasing you. Don't let her ruffle your feathers like that! Harry's bombastic, arrogant demeanor tends to ruffle people's feathers, but he's a decent guy at heart.
smooth (one's) ruffled feathers
To attempt to calm or placate someone who is annoyed, irritated, or upset. I had to go and smooth my parents' ruffled feathers after my husband criticized them at dinner. The company has been in damage-control mode after the disastrous presentation, with the CEO trying to smooth investor's ruffled feathers.
ruffle up (something)
To mess up the smooth surface of something by making individual parts stand on end. A noun or pronoun can also be used between "ruffle" and "up." The cat really hates it if you ruffle up its fur by stroking it back to front. My uncle always ruffles my hair up when he sees me.
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 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]
COMMON If someone ruffles feathers, they say or do something which upsets or annoys people. His management style ruffled a few feathers. The tall Texan ruffled some English feathers with his remarks. Note: If a bird's feathers are ruffled they stand out from its body, for example because it is frightened or angry.
smooth (someone's) ruffled feathers
If someone smooths ruffled feathers or smooths someone's ruffled feathers, they do something to make people less angry after an argument or a problem. He acted swiftly to smooth the family's ruffled feathers. Eva generally keeps things moving and smooths ruffled feathers.
ruffle someone's featherscause someone to become annoyed or upset.
smooth someone's ruffled feathersmake someone less angry or irritated by using soothing words.
ruffle somebody’s/a few ˈfeathers(informal) annoy somebody by doing something that upsets and disturbs them: All this talk of a strike has clearly ruffled the management’s feathers. OPPOSITE: smooth (somebody’s) ruffled feathers
This refers to the way the wind disturbs the smooth surface of a bird’s feathers so that they stick out.
smooth (somebody’s) ruffled ˈfeathersmake somebody feel less angry or offended: Her note of apology was meant to smooth ruffled feathers, but it only seemed to make things worse. OPPOSITE: ruffle somebody’s/a few feathers
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.
ruffle someone's feathers, to
To irritate someone. The transfer of stiffened, upright feathers from angry birds to human beings took place around 1800. “The Dean ruffled his plumage and said, with some asperity . . . ,” wrote Frederic W. Farrar (Julian Home, 1859).
See also: ruffle