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Definition of gruff:

  1. Of a rough or stern manner, voice, or countenance; sour; surly; severe; harsh.

Synonyms:

scratchy, steely, breathy, smart, fruity, hoarse, gravel, rough, dogged, rude, beefy, grating, intimidating, snappish, crustlike, croaky, appealing, fierce, encrusted, ill-humoured, short-spoken, croaking, ill-natured, impudent, flat, surly, gravelly, insolent, discourteous, sour, sullen, cacophonic, cacophonous, rough, ungentle, adenoidal, abrasive, sulky, dead, burly, ill-mannered, strapping, impolite, gloomy, disembodied, rugged, churlish, rasping, raspy, irritable, coarse, curmudgeonly, crabbed, crusty, buirdly, brittle, husky, impertinent, lowering, crusted, splenetic, rusty, flinty, morose, offensive, ill-humored, attitude, brief, forbidding, throaty.

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