Etymology
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gruff (adj.)

1530s, of physical things, "coarse, coarse-grained," from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German grof "coarse (in quality), thick, large," of uncertain origin, regarded by some as related to Old English hreof, Old Norse hrjufr "rough, scabby," with Germanic completive prefix ga-. Of manners, "rough, surly," by 1690s. Related: Gruffness.

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Definitions of gruff

gruff (adj.)
deep and harsh sounding as if from shouting or illness or emotion; "makes all the instruments sound powerful but husky"- Virgil Thomson;
the dog's gruff barking
gruff voices
Synonyms: hoarse / husky
From wordnet.princeton.edu