verb (used with object), riled, ril·ing. Chiefly Northern and North Midland U.S.
- to irritate or vex.
- to roil (water or the like).
- to annoy or anger; irritate
- US and Canadian to stir up or agitate (water, etc); roil or make turbid
1825, American English spelling alteration to reflect a dialectal pronunciation of roil (q.v.); cf. heist from hoist and in the same era spile for spoil (v.). Bartlett writes that in both England and America roil “is now commonly pronounced and written rile” [“Dictionary of Americanisms,” 1848]. Related: Riled; riling.