ruff

1
[ruhf]
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noun
  1. a neckpiece or collar of lace, lawn, or the like, gathered or drawn into deep, full, regular folds, worn in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  2. something resembling such a piece in form or position.
  3. a collar, or set of lengthened or specially marked hairs or feathers, on the neck of an animal.
  4. Ornithology. a species of European and Asian sandpiper, Philomachus pugnax, the male of which has a large erectile ruff of feathers during the breeding season.Compare reeve3.
  5. Alaska and Northern Canada. a fringe of fur around the edge of a parka hood or along the edges of a jacket.
verb (used with object)
  1. tease(def 3).

Origin of ruff

1
First recorded in 1515–25; perhaps back formation from ruffle1
Related formsruff·like, adjective
Can be confusedrough ruff

ruff

2
[ruhf]Cards.
noun
  1. an act or instance of trumping when one cannot follow suit.
  2. an old game of cards, resembling whist.
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to trump when unable to follow suit.

Origin of ruff

2
1580–90; probably < French ro(u)ffle; cognate with Italian ronfa a card game, probably < German Trumpf trump1

ruff

3
[ruhf]
noun
  1. a small European freshwater fish, Acerina cernua, of the perch family.

Origin of ruff

3
1400–50; Middle English ruf, roffe; perhaps special use of rough
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for ruff

Historical Examples of ruff


British Dictionary definitions for ruff

ruff

1
noun
  1. a circular pleated, gathered, or fluted collar of lawn, muslin, etc, often starched or wired, worn by both men and women in the 16th and 17th centuries
  2. zoology a natural growth of long or coloured hair or feathers around the necks of certain animals or birds
    1. an Old World shore bird, Philomachus pugnax, the male of which has a large erectile ruff of feathers in the breeding season: family Scolopacidae (sandpipers, etc), order Charadriiformes
    2. the male of this birdCompare reeve 3
Derived Formsrufflike, adjective

Word Origin for ruff

C16: back formation from ruffle 1

ruff

2
noun cards
  1. another word for trump 1
  2. an old card game similar to whist
verb
  1. cards another word for trump 1 (def. 4)

Word Origin for ruff

C16: from Old French roffle; perhaps changed from Italian trionfa trump 1

ruff

3
noun
  1. another name for roughie 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ruff
n.

kind of large collar, stiffly starched, especially common in the seventeenth century, 1520s, originally in reference to sleeves (of collars, from 1550s), probably a shortened form of ruffle.

Card-playing sense is a separate word, from a former game of that name (1580s), from Middle French roffle, earlier romfle (early 15c.), from Italian ronfa, perhaps a corruption of trionfo "triumph" (from French; cf. trump). The game was in vogue c.1590-1630.

v.

in cards, 1760, from ruff (n.). Related: Ruffed; ruffing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper