ruffian

noun ruf·fi·an \ ˈrə-fē-ən \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of ruffian

: a brutal person : bully

ruffian

adjective

ruffianism

play \ˈrə-fē-ə-ˌni-zəm\ noun

ruffianly

adjective

Examples of ruffian in a Sentence

  1. a gang of ruffians preying upon people who ventured into that section of town

Recent Examples of ruffian from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ruffian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of ruffian

Middle French rufian


RUFFIAN Defined for English Language Learners

ruffian

noun

Definition of ruffian for English Language Learners

  • : a strong and violent person (especially a man) who threatens and hurts other people


RUFFIAN Defined for Kids

ruffian

noun ruf·fi·an \ ˈrə-fē-ən \

Definition of ruffian for Students

: a violent and cruel person


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