ruff

1 of 4

noun (1)

variants or ruffe
: a small freshwater European perch (Acerina cernua)

ruff

2 of 4

noun (2)

1
: a large round collar of pleated muslin or linen worn by men and women of the late 16th and early 17th centuries
2
: a fringe or frill of long hairs or feathers growing around or on the neck of an animal
3
: a common Eurasian sandpiper (Philomachus pugnax) whose male during the breeding season has a large ruff of erectile feathers on the neck
ruffed adjective

Illustration of ruff

Illustration of ruff
  • ruff 1

ruff

3 of 4

verb

ruffed; ruffing; ruffs

intransitive verb

: to take a trick with a trump

transitive verb

: to play a trump on (a card previously led or played)

ruff

4 of 4

noun (3)

: the act of trumping

Examples of ruff in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Advancing players learn the reasons to delay: to ruff losers, preserve entries, set up a fast discard for a loser, and more. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 8 June 2024 Louie can count nine tricks for South: five trumps, the ace of hearts, a heart ruff in dummy, the ace of diamonds (South surely has that card to accept North’s invitational raise) and one club. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 14 May 2024 Then West should continue with two more high hearts, forcing dummy to ruff, and East’s king of trumps wins the setting trick. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 1 May 2024 West ruffs, and the defense takes the A-K of hearts. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 1 Apr. 2024 If East’s ace covers, South ruffs, leads a trump to dummy and leads the last diamond, pitching a club. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 17 Mar. 2024 East wins and leads a club, and South ruffs and leads a diamond to dummy’s jack. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 20 Mar. 2024 If declarer leads another heart, Cy wins and leads a third heart, forcing dummy to ruff and removing a key entry prematurely. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 27 Feb. 2024 South ruffs in dummy and ruffs a club with the queen of trumps. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 6 Feb. 2024
Verb
East won with the jack and tried to cash the ace, and declarer ruffed and drew trumps. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 9 June 2024 South should ruff the second heart, delaying his discard. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 5 June 2024 East wins and leads a fourth diamond, ruffed in dummy. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 24 May 2024 Cy then takes the K-A of clubs — West can’t gain by ruffing — and, having won nine tricks, ruffs dummy’s last club. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 30 Apr. 2024 Against five diamonds, West led the king of spades, and South ruffed in dummy and led the jack of trumps, overtaking with his queen. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 21 Apr. 2024 South can ruff only one diamond in dummy and loses a diamond. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 17 Apr. 2024 South then ruffs a club high, leads a trump to dummy’s jack and discards a diamond on the ace of clubs. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 1 Apr. 2024 When East can’t ruff, South returns a trump to his hand and runs the diamonds to make the slam. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, 20 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ruff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English ruf

Noun (2)

probably back-formation from ruffle

Verb

Middle French roffler

First Known Use

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1598, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (3)

circa 1828, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ruff was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near ruff

Cite this Entry

“Ruff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ruff. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

ruff

noun
ˈrəf
1
: a large round collar of pleated muslin or linen worn by men and women in the 16th and 17th centuries
2
: a fringe of long hairs or feathers growing around or on the neck of an animal
ruffed
ˈrəft
adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on ruff

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