Definition of kerfuffle in English:



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

    ‘there was a kerfuffle over the chairmanship’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ironically, every Collingwood Social Club member who wanted a ticket ended up with one, so the kerfuffle was over a matter of principle.’
    • ‘And yet what a kerfuffle is going on right now because of that awards night!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Regular readers may remember the kerfuffle over the redesignation of speed cameras as ‘safety’ cameras.’
    • ‘It caused a diplomatic kerfuffle so he can't have forgotten about it.’
    • ‘I can't think of any show I've ever been involved in that had such a kerfuffle around it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘The resultant kerfuffle almost overshadowed the fact that they'd released a belter of an album.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I think all of the controversy and the congressional kerfuffle about this actually strengthens Mr. Bolton.’
    • ‘This kerfuffle is a distraction from the debate that we should be having.’
    • ‘The latest kerfuffle is likely to end the same way.’
    • ‘There was a big kerfuffle when VoIP services first launched as to whether they should be regulated like traditional telcos.’
    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’.