One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1informal Make (someone) annoyed or irritated.‘it was his air of knowing all the answers that riled her’‘he's getting you all riled up’
irritate, annoy, bother, vex, provoke, displease, upset, offend, affront, anger, exasperate, infuriate, gall, irk, get someone's back up, put someone's back up, disgruntle, pique, rankle with, nettle, needle, ruffle, get on someone's nerves, ruffle someone's feathers, make someone's hackles rise, raise someone's hackles, rub up the wrong wayView synonyms
- ‘He'd never explained why he was so riled about her working.’
- ‘‘I can't be around Jake for more than five minutes without him saying something to rile me up,’ Sam huffed.’
- ‘Her eyes narrowed into her infamous glare, and the woman was riled enough to fight back.’
- ‘She looked so calm and relaxed while I was riled up inside.’
- ‘He liked to think he was a laid-back kind of guy; nothing riled him and certainly women didn't get him all worked up.’
- ‘Mr. Gilmer kept working him, jabbing at him, trying to rile him up or rattle him by suggesting that if he had been innocent he wouldn't have run.’
- ‘It might be the abuse of language on a particular menu that riles him one week; or he's arguing that certain experiences are worth paying over the odds for the next.’
- ‘It really riles me up the way she can be so sanctimonious.’
- ‘Graeme always knew how to rile me, and Sam was no better.’
- ‘I didn't need any false bravado to intimidate now; I was really riled.’
- ‘I don't know why, but the thought of him helping her riled me up a little, but I tried to ignore my irrational feelings of jealousy.’
- ‘Certainly, when she was riled up enough about something she became nearly as intimidating as Jess.’
- ‘Whatever it is that's riled him, his ugly, near unnecessary swearing renders any salient point he might have been making completely irrelevant.’
- ‘It's bound to happen sooner or later that a review you write will rile someone enough to write a scathing email.’
- ‘Alec had always been more patient than most, but if he was riled up, there was no changing his mind.’
- ‘Hearing that name riled Adam up, knocking his anger up a couple of notches.’
- ‘We just felt it wasn't the best thing to tell you and rile you up.’
- ‘I remembered Jacob's advice and decided maybe riling him up wasn't such a great idea at the moment.’
- ‘What riles me about mortgage lenders is that they take advantage of their customers.’
- ‘You could tell him to sleep and to stop being so obsessed with sports because they only rile him up.’
2North American Make (water) turbulent or muddy.
- ‘The water was riled by the wind and waves and I did not feel like a morning swim in the cloudy water.’
- ‘It was expected that the heavy rain would rile the water and drive the trout farther. upstream’
Early 19th century: variant of roil.
Top tips for CV writingRead more
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.