ruff

1
[ ruhf ]
/ rʌf /

noun

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.
something resembling such a piece in form or position.
a collar, or set of lengthened or specially marked hairs or feathers, on the neck of an animal.
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.
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)

Origin of ruff

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

Definition for ruff (2 of 3)

ruff

2
[ ruhf ]
/ rʌf /
Cards.

noun

an act or instance of trumping when one cannot follow suit.
an old game of cards, resembling whist.

verb (used with or without object)

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

Definition for ruff (3 of 3)

ruff

3
[ ruhf ]
/ rʌf /

noun

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for ruff

British Dictionary definitions for ruff (1 of 3)

ruff

1
/ (rʌf) /

noun

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
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

British Dictionary definitions for ruff (2 of 3)

ruff

2
/ (rʌf) /

noun cards

another word for trump 1
an old card game similar to whist

verb

cards another word for trump 1 (def. 4)

Word Origin for ruff

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

British Dictionary definitions for ruff (3 of 3)

ruff

3
/ (rʌf) /

noun

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