ruffian

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French rufian, from Italian ruffiano (pimp).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ruffian (plural ruffians)

  1. A scoundrel, rascal, or unprincipled, deceitful, brutal and unreliable person.
    • Shakespeare
      Wilt thou on thy deathbed play the ruffian?
  2. (obsolete) A pimp; a pander.
  3. (obsolete) A lover; a paramour.
    • Bishop Reynolds
      He [her husband] is no sooner abroad than she is instantly at home, revelling with her ruffians.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

ruffian (third-person singular simple present ruffians, present participle ruffianing, simple past and past participle ruffianed)

  1. To play the ruffian; to rage; to raise tumult.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Adjective[edit]

ruffian (comparative more ruffian, superlative most ruffian)

  1. Brutal; cruel; savagely boisterous; murderous.
    ruffian rage

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Noun[edit]

ruffian m (plural ruffians)

  1. Alternative spelling of rufian
    • 1943, Jean Ray, Malpertuis, 1978 ed., p. 8
      Il n'y a que la fortune pour faire d'un ruffian un honnête homme, soumis aux lois humaines.

External links[edit]