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a brutal person; bully
"'You try me too much. A ruffian a common brawling ruffian that's what you have become.'" Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World, 1912
"Tintin always moves (unless he's been knocked out by some ruffian). Motion is his appeal and the reason Steven Spielberg's representation rings true." Matt Easton, The Michigan Daily, January 4, 2012
About the Word:
Ruffians specialize in roughness, and between the 16th and 18th centuries, they were also synonymous with pimps men who solicit clients for prostitutes.