Definition of kerfuffle in English:



  • A commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views.

    ‘there was a kerfuffle over the chairmanship’
    • ‘It's all part of our ability in this country to get into a kerfuffle over the philosophies of ‘living to work’ and ‘working to live’.’
    • ‘Ironically, every Collingwood Social Club member who wanted a ticket ended up with one, so the kerfuffle was over a matter of principle.’
    • ‘There was a big kerfuffle when VoIP services first launched as to whether they should be regulated like traditional telcos.’
    • ‘No less than 3 people stopped by my car to see what the kerfuffle was all about and I had to explain to them that I was not, in fact, totally bonkers, but that I had a bee in my car and he wasn't getting out.’
    • ‘Regular readers may remember the kerfuffle over the redesignation of speed cameras as ‘safety’ cameras.’
    • ‘In fact, it was another 24 hours before they realised what an international kerfuffle the incident had caused, as the reaction around them in Bali itself was as if nothing much had happened.’
    • ‘Thanks for the nod on the IT assistant job, I know it must be a bit of a bore having to advertise it externally and all the kerfuffle it must cause.’
    • ‘The political kerfuffle surrounding the latest rate increase has reminded me of something I read earlier in the month.’
    • ‘There was a bit of a kerfuffle because he couldn't find his ticket before he got on the plane.’
    • ‘The resultant kerfuffle almost overshadowed the fact that they'd released a belter of an album.’
    • ‘I think all of the controversy and the congressional kerfuffle about this actually strengthens Mr. Bolton.’
    • ‘It caused a diplomatic kerfuffle so he can't have forgotten about it.’
    • ‘The latest kerfuffle is likely to end the same way.’
    • ‘And yet what a kerfuffle is going on right now because of that awards night!’
    • ‘Just as I was wiping up the last of the egg from my plate there was a general kerfuffle, with people rushing into the supermarket for shelter from a torrential downpour.’
    • ‘This kerfuffle is a distraction from the debate that we should be having.’
    • ‘I can't think of any show I've ever been involved in that had such a kerfuffle around it.’
    disturbance, racket, uproar, tumult, ruckus, clamour, brouhaha, furore, hue and cry, palaver, fuss, stir, to-do, storm, maelstrom, melee
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Early 19th century: perhaps from Scots curfuffle (probably from Scottish Gaelic car ‘twist, bend’ + imitative Scots fuffle ‘to disorder’), or related to Irish cior thual ‘confusion, disorder’.