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

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 6 Feb. 2023.

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

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