• WordNet 3.6
    • v ruff play a trump
    • n ruff (card games) the act of taking a trick with a trump when unable to follow suit
    • n ruff common Eurasian sandpiper; the male has an erectile neck ruff in breeding season
    • n ruff a high tight collar
    • n ruff an external body part consisting of feathers or hair about the neck of a bird or other animal
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ruff (Mach) A collar on a shaft ot other piece to prevent endwise motion. See Illust. of Collar.
    • n Ruff (Card Playing) A game similar to whist, and the predecessor of it.
    • Ruff (Zoöl) A limicoline bird of Europe and Asia (Pavoncella pugnax, syn. Philomachus pugnax) allied to the sandpipers. The males during the breeding season have a large ruff of erectile feathers, variable in their colors, on the neck, and yellowish naked tubercles on the face. They are polygamous, and are noted for their pugnacity in the breeding season. The female is called reeve, or rheeve.
    • Ruff (Mil) A low, vibrating beat of a drum, not so loud as a roll; a ruffle.
    • Ruff A muslin or linen collar plaited, crimped, or fluted, worn formerly by both sexes, now only by women and children. "Here to-morrow with his best ruff on.""His gravity is much lessened since the late proclamation came out against ruffs ; . . . they were come to that height of excess herein, that twenty shillings were used to be paid for starching of a ruff ."
    • Ruff (Zoöl) A set of lengthened or otherwise modified feathers round, or on, the neck of a bird.
    • n Ruff (Zoöl) A small freshwater European perch (Acerina vulgaris); -- called also pope blacktail, and stone perch, or striped perch.
    • Ruff (Zoöl) A variety of the domestic pigeon, having a ruff of its neck.
    • Ruff An exhibition of pride or haughtiness. "How many princes . . . 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!"
    • Ruff Something formed with plaits or flutings, like the collar of this name. "I reared this flower; . . . Soft on the paper ruff its leaves I spread."
    • Ruff (Mil) To beat with the ruff or ruffle, as a drum.
    • Ruff (Hawking) To hit, as the prey, without fixing it.
    • Ruff (Card Playing) To play a trump card at bridge; as, he ruffed his partner's ace.
    • Ruff To ruffle; to disorder.
    • v. i. & t Ruff (Card Playing) To trump.
    • Ruff Wanton or tumultuous procedure or conduct. "To ruffle it out in a riotous ruff ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ruff A projecting band or frill, plaited or bristling, especially one worn around the neck. In the sixteenth century ruffs of muslin or lawn, often edged with lace, plaited or goffered, and stiffly starched, were worn by both men and women, some of them very broad, projecting six inches or more in all directions; narrower ruffs of similar material have formed a part of the costume of women at different epochs, down to the present day.
    • n ruff Something resembling a ruff in form or position. Specifically— In ornithology, a packet, collar, or other set of lengthened, loosened, peculiarly colored, or otherwise distinguished feathers on the neck of a bird, as the condor, the ruff, certain grebes and grouse, etc. Also called ruffle.
    • n ruff The loose top of the boot worn in the seventeenth century turned over and made somewhat ornamental: same as boot-top, 2 . Sometimes the top was of a different leather from the rest of the boot. Spanish leather is especially mentioned, and the edge was sometimes ornamented with gold lace or similar passement.
    • n ruff In machinery, an annular ridge formed on a shaft or other piece, commonly at a journal, to prevent motion endwise. Thus, in the cut, a, a are ruffs limiting the length of the journal b, to which the pillows or brasses are exactly fitted, so that the shaft is prevented from moving on end. Ruffs sometimes consist of separate rings fixed in the positions intended by set-screws, etc. They are then called loose ruffs.
    • n ruff Figuratively, that which is outspread or made public; an open display; a public exhibition, generally marked by pride or vanity.
    • n ruff A breed of domestic pigeons; a kind of Jacobin having a ruff.
    • ruff To plait, pucker, or wrinkle; draw up in plaits or folds.
    • ruff To ruffle; disorder.
    • ruff In falconry, to hit without trussing.
    • ruff To applaud by making a noise with hands or feet. [Scotch.]
    • n ruff The bird Pavoncella or Machetes pugnax (the female of which is called a reeve), a kind of sandpiper belonging to the family Scolopacidæ, having in breeding-plumage an enormous frill or ruff of feathers of peculiar texture on the neck, and noted for its pugnacity. It is widely distributed in the Old World, and occurs as a straggler in America. The length is about 12 inches. Besides the curious ruff, the bird has at the same season a pair of ear-tufts and the face studded with fleshy tubercles. The general plumage is much variegated, and the feathers of the ruff sport in several colors and endlessly varied patterns. When these feathers are erected in fighting, they form a sort of shield or buckler. Also called combatant and fighting sandpiper.
    • n ruff Accrina or Gymnocephalus cernua, a fish of the family Percidæ, distinguished by the muciferous channels of the head, the villiform teeth of the jaws, and the connected dorsal fins. It is a freshwater fish of Europe, living in families or schools, and mostly frequenting rather deep and cold waters. In habits and food it much resembles the common perch.
    • n ruff An old game at cards, the predecessor of whist.
    • n ruff In card-playing, the act of trumping when the player has no cards of the suit led.
    • ruff In card-playing, to trump when holding none of the suit led.
    • ruff Also, erroneously, rough.
    • ruff Same as rough.
    • n ruff A state of roughness; ruggedness; hence, rude or riotous procedure or conduct.
    • ruff To heckle (flax) on a coarse heckle called a ruffer.
    • ruff In hat-manuf., to nap.
    • n ruff An obsolete form of rough.
    • n ruff A low vibrating beat of a drum; a ruffie. See ruffle.
    • n ruff A dialectal form of roof.
    • n ruff A large integumental fold surrounding the base of the foot of Haliotis, the ear-shell.
    • n ruff A Victorian fish, Arripis georgianus, of the family Percidæ. A. salar is the Australian fish called salmon or salmon-trout. See salmon, 3 .
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ruff ruf an ornament of frills formerly worn round the neck: anything plaited: a bird belonging to the sandpiper sub-family of the Snipe family, the male with an erectile ruff during the breeding season—fem. Reeve: a band of long hair growing round the neck of some dogs: :
    • v.t Ruff to pucker: to draw up in folds: to ruffle, disorder: in falconry, to hit without trussing:
    • n Ruff ruf an old game at cards: the act of trumping when the player has no cards of the suit left
    • v.t Ruff to trump in this way
    • n Ruff ruf ruggedness
    • v.t Ruff to heckle flax on a coarse heckle: to nap hats
    • adv Ruff helter-skelter, pell-mell
    • n Ruff ruf a low vibrating beat of a drum.
    • n Ruff ruf a small fresh-water fish of the Perch family, abundant in England, about six inches long, with only one dorsal fin
    • Ruff Also Pope
    • n Ruff ruf (mach.) an annular ridge formed on a shaft to prevent motion endwise: a breed of domestic pigeons
    • n Ruff ruf (obs.) a display
    • v.t Ruff (Scot.) to applaud by making noise with hands or feet
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Of uncertain origin: cf. Icel. rūfinn, rough, uncombed, Pr. ruf, rude, rough, Sp. rufo, frizzed, crisp, curled, G. raufen, to pluck, fight, rupfen, to pluck, pull, E. rough,. √18. Cf. Ruffle to wrinkle


In literature:

Why must their ruffs be generally yellow and ill-starched?
"Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
He entered his house with a face that matched his ruff in its sickly yellow colouring.
"Sea-Dogs All!" by Tom Bevan
As to ruffs and puffs, cuffs and muffs, she troubled herself with none of those ridiculous vanities.
"It Might Have Been" by Emily Sarah Holt
The enormous ruffs worn by Queen Elizabeth were introduced into England in the time of her sister Mary.
"Chats on Old Lace and Needlework" by Emily Leigh Lowes
You shall know him by his narrow velvet cape, and serge facing; and his ruff, next his hair, the shortest thing about him.
"Microcosmography" by John Earle
Stripping him of one of the shirts he had on, they wrapped it about his head, and got him up a third time with loud huzzas and a ruff of the drum.
"Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland Volume 17" by Alexander Leighton
Peter Ruff and the Double Four.
"Virginia of Elk Creek Valley" by Mary Ellen Chase
What has become of that wondrous store Of Queen Elizabeth's ruffs?
"Cobwebs from a Library Corner" by John Kendrick Bangs
That no ruff should be worn.
"A Book About Lawyers" by John Cordy Jeaffreson
Peter Ruff shrank back.
"The Double Four" by E. Phillips Oppenheim

In poetry:

With diamonds and perfumes
In ruff and golden lace,
Tall ladies pass by the looking-glass,
Each sighing at her face.
"The Mirror" by Madison Julius Cawein
With Whiskers, Band, and Pantaloon,
And Ruff composed most duly;
This 'Squire he dropp'd his Pen full soon,
While as the Light burnt bluely.
"Sandys Ghost ; A Proper Ballad on the New Ovid's Metamorphosis" by Alexander Pope
But the Butcher turned nervous, and dressed himself fine,
With yellow kid gloves and a ruff—
Said he felt it exactly like going to dine,
Which the Bellman declared was all "stuff."
"The Hunting Of The Snark " by Lewis Carroll
But the Butcher turned nervous, and dressed himself fine,
With yellow kid gloves and a ruff—
Said he felt it exactly like going to dine,
Which the Bellman declared was all "stuff".
"Fit The Fourth - The Hunting" by Lewis Carroll
Just this it is that we are needing now:
The spring, the spring! These stifling fumes we bear
Of royal incense and of monkish snuff,
Of corpses in romantic cloak and ruff,
Are bad for morals and for lungs: Fresh air!
"Holger Drachmann" by Bjornstjerne Bjornson
Van Dyke beard and broidered ruff silently confess
That he lived--and loved perchance--in days of Good Queen Bess.
(Laces fine and linen sheer, curled and perfumed hair
Well became those gentlemen of gay, insouciant air.)
"At The Play" by Virna Sheard

In news:

Get complete career stats for Orlando Ruff on
John Ruff is currently President of IFT (Institute of Food Technologists®).
Knoxville Bands with Ruff .
WINNSBORO — Dr James M Ruff of Winnsboro, formerly of Anderson, died Thursday, Sept 27, 2012.
UT students' ' Ruff Dog Day' video goes viral.
Love- Ruff to wed. Monday, December 10, 2012.
Melody Ann Traylor Ruff , 56, of Benton was born June 21, 1955 in Little Rock, the daughter of the late Robert and Dorothy Goins Traylor.
The annual Willie Scott Award went to Whitmire's Michael Ruff .
Article "Sabres Ruff will miss Roy" Is Not Available At This Time.
A Dog's Day Can be " Ruff ".
Noreen Ruff is the Officer Manager for WRHI and Interstate 107 and has been at the station since 1995.
DDB Chicago has named Becky Ruff a vice president of the agency.
Ruff , manager of broadcast production, joined DDB in 1994 as a producer.
Robbins, Ruff move on to semifinals.
Chautauqua Lake's Samantha Robbins and Dori Ruff pulled off an impressive upset Thursday in the CCAA County Tennis Championships at the Lakewood YMCA to advance to today's semifinals.