• synonyms


  1. displaying or wearing a ruff.
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Origin of ruffed

First recorded in 1570–80; ruff1 + -ed2
Related formsun·ruffed, adjective


  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.
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verb (used with object)
  1. tease(def 3).
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Origin of ruff1

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


  1. an act or instance of trumping when one cannot follow suit.
  2. an old game of cards, resembling whist.
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to trump when unable to follow suit.
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Origin of ruff2

1580–90; probably < French ro(u)ffle; cognate with Italian ronfa a card game, probably < German Trumpf trump1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ruffed

Historical Examples

  • Now and then, ahead of her, she saw a ruffed grouse wandering in the trail.

    The Flaming Jewel

    Robert W. Chambers

  • Its food and habits are similar to those of the Ruffed Grouse.

  • I said at the first that the Ruffed Grouse stay with us all the year.

  • The Ruffed Grouse can easily be detected by the drumming sound which it makes.

    Endurance Test

    Alan Douglas

  • Bob-white and ruffed grouse are the fife and drum corps of the woods.

British Dictionary definitions for ruffed


  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
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Derived Formsrufflike, adjective

Word Origin

C16: back formation from ruffle 1


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

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


  1. another name for roughie 1
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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 ruffed



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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper