- 1 English
- 1.1 Pronunciation
- 1.2 Etymology 1
- 1.3 Etymology 2
- 1.4 Etymology 3
- 1.5 Etymology 4
- 1.6 Etymology 5
- 1.7 References
- 1.8 Further reading
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɹʌf/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ɹəf/
- Rhymes: -ʌf
- Homophones: rough, ruffe
ruff (plural ruffs)
- A circular frill or ruffle on a garment, especially a starched, fluted frill at the neck in Elizabethan and Jacobean England (1560s–1620s).
c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, containing His Death: And the Coronation of King Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies, London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, Act II, scene iv, page 83, column 1:
- You a Captaine? you ſlaue, for what? for tearing a poore Whores Ruffe in a Bawdy-houſe? Hee a Captaine? hang him Rogue, hee liues vpon mouldie ſtew'd-Pruines, and dry'de Cakes.
- Anything formed with plaits or flutings like a frill.
1742, [Alexander] Pope, The New Dunciad: [...] With the Illustrations of Scriblerus, and Notes Variorum, 2nd edition, London: Printed for J. H. Hubbard, in the Old-Bailey, OCLC 837260495, lines 395–398, pages 24–25:
- Fair from its humble bed I rear'd this flow'r; / Suckled, and chear'd, with air, and ſun, and ſhow'r; / Soft on the paper ruff its leaves I ſpread, / Bright with the gilded button tipt its head; […]
- Senses relating to animals.
- Philomachus pugnax (syn. Calidris pugnax), a gregarious, medium-sized wading bird of Eurasia; specifically, a male of the species which develops a distinctive ruff of feathers and ear tufts during mating season (the female is called a reeve).
- (ornithology) A set of lengthened or otherwise modified feathers on or around the neck of a bird.
- (zoology) A collar of lengthened or distinctively coloured fur on or around the neck of an animal.
- (engineering) A collar on a shaft or other piece to prevent endwise motion.
- (obsolete) An exhibition of haughtiness or pride.
1694, Aesop; Roger L'Estrange, “Fab[le] XXXVIII. A Horse and an Ass.”, in Fables, of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists: With Morals and Reflexions, 2nd corrected and amended edition, London: Printed for R[ichard] Sare, B[enjamin] Took, M[atthew] Gillyflower, A. & J. Churchil[l], J[oseph] Hindmarsh, and G[eorge] Sawbridge, OCLC 606109080, page 39:
- Nay, how many Emperours and Princes, that in the Ruff of all their Glory have been taken down from the Head of a Conquering Army, to the Wheel of the Victor's Chariot?
- (obsolete) Tumultuous or wanton conduct or procedure.
1549 March 15, Hugh Latimer, “The Second Sermon of Master Hugh Latimer, which He Preached before the King’s Majesty, within His Grace’s Palace at Westminster, the Fifteenth Day of March, 1549”, in George Elwes Corrie, editor, The Works of Hugh Latimer, sometime Bishop of Worcester, Martyr, 1555. Edited for the Parker Society, by the Rev. George Elwes Corrie, B.D. [...], volume I, Cambridge: Printed at the University Press, published 1844, OCLC 796947594, pages 108–109:
- Thou must not pill and poll thy tenant, that thou mayest have, as they say, Unde, and that thy never enough, to ruffle it out in a riotous ruff, and a prodigal, dissolute, and licentious living.
- (transitive) To shape (fabric, etc.) into a ruff; to adorn (a garment, etc.) with a ruff.
- (transitive, falconry) Of a falcon, hawk, etc.: to hit (the prey) without fixing or grabbing hold of it.
- (rare, transitive) To ruffle; to disorder.
1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. Disposed into Twelue Books, Fashioning XII. Morall Vertues, London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book III, canto II, stanza 27, page 418:
- Thenceforth the fether in her lofty creſt, / Ruffed of loue, gan lowly to auaile, / And her prowd portaunce, and her princely geſt, / VVith which ſhe earſt tryumphed, now did quaile: […]
- (obsolete, transitive) Of a bird: to ruffle its feathers.
- (obsolete, transitive) To boast, to brag.
- (obsolete, intransitive) To speak in a loud and domineering manner; to bluster, to swagger.
Possibly from rough.
ruff (plural ruffs)
- Alternative spelling of : a small freshwater fish of the genus Gymnocephalus; specifically the Eurasian ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua or Gymnocephalus cernuus) which has spiny fins; the pope.
- Arripis georgianus, a fish found in cool waters off the southern coast of Australia; the Australian herring.
- (obsolete) A bottom-dwelling carnivorous fish of the genus Sparidae found in temperate and tropical waters; a porgy or sea bream.
- (Australian herring (Arripis georgianus)): roughy
From Old French roffle, rouffle (earlier romfle, ronfle), or from Italian ronfa (“card game similar to whist”); these words are possibly from Old French triomphe (“a triumph, victory”), Italian trionfo (“triumph; trump card”), from Latin triumphus (“hymn to Bacchus; celebration, triumph”), ultimately from Ancient Greek θρῐ́ᾰμβος (thríambos, “hymn to Dionysius, thriambus”). The verb is derived from the noun.
- (transitive, intransitive) To play a trump card to a trick when unable to follow suit (that is, to play a card of the same suit as the previous or leading card). [late 16th c.]
- (transitive) Especially in the form ruff out: to defeat (a card, etc.) by ruffing, thus establishing the master card in the suit led.
- A instance of ruffing, or an opportunity to ruff, when unable to follow suit. [late 16th c.]
- (obsolete) A game similar to whist and its predecessor. [late 16th c.]
1595, G[eorge] P[eele], The Old Wiues Tale. A Pleasant Conceited Comedie, Played by the Queenes Maiesties Players, London: Printed at London by Iohn Danter, and are to be sold by Raph Hancocke, and Iohn Hardie, OCLC 222301598; reprinted as [Walter Wilson Greg], editor, The Old Wives’ Tale: 1595 (The Malone Society Reprints; 7), [Oxford]: Printed for the Malone Society by Horace Hart M.A. at the Oxford University Press, 1908, OCLC 614540367, 85–87:
- [W]hat ſhall wee haue a game at Trumpe or Ruffe to driue away the time, how ſay you?
ruff (plural ruffs)
- (transitive) To beat a ruff or ruffle, as on a drum.
- (intransitive) Of a drum, etc.: to have a ruff or ruffle beaten on it.
- (colloquial) Alternative spelling of .