ruf·fle / ˈrəfəl/ • v. [tr.] 1. disorder or disarrange (someone's hair), typically by running one's hands through it: he ruffled her hair affectionately. ∎ (of a bird) erect (its feathers) in anger or display: on his departure to the high wires, the starling ruffled his feathers and flirted his wings. ∎ disturb the smoothness or tranquility of: the evening breeze ruffled the surface of the pond in the yard. ∎ disconcert or upset the composure of (someone): Brian had been ruffled by her questions.2. [usu. as adj.] (ruffled) ornament with or gather into a frill: a blouse with a high ruffled neck.• n. 1. an ornamental gathered or goffered frill of lace or other cloth on a garment, esp. around the wrist or neck.2. a vibrating drumbeat.PHRASES: ruffle someone's feathers cause someone to become annoyed or upset: tampering with the traditional approach would ruffle a few feathers.smooth someone's ruffled feathers make someone less angry or irritated by using soothing words.
Hence ruffler (-ER1) †one of a class of vagabonds; swaggering fellow. XVI.