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Webster 1913 Edition


Ruffian

Ruf′fian

(rŭf′yan or rŭf′fĭ-an; 277)
,
Noun.
[F.
rufien
, OF.
ruffien
,
ruffian
, pimp, libertine, rake; cf. Pr. & Sp.
rufian
, It.
ruffiano
; all perhaps of German or Dutch origin; cf. G.
raufen
to pluck, scuffle, fight, OD.
roffen
to pander. Cf.
Ruffle
to grow turbulent.]
1.
A pimp; a pander; also, a paramour.
[Obs.]
He [her husband] is no sooner abroad than she is instantly at home, reveling with her
ruffians
.
Bp. Reynolds.
2.
A boisterous, cruel, brutal fellow; a desperate fellow ready for murderous or cruel deeds; a cutthroat.
Wilt thou on thy deathbed play the
ruffian
?
Shakespeare
2.
Hence:
A tough, lawless or bullying person.

Ruf′fian

,
Adj.
Brutal; cruel; savagely boisterous; murderous;
as,
ruffian
rage
.

Ruf′fian

,
Verb.
I.
To play the ruffian; to rage; to raise tumult.
[R.]
Shak.

Webster 1828 Edition


Ruffian

RUF'FIAN

, n.
A boisterous, brutal fellow; a fellow ready for any desperate crime; a robber; a cut-throat; a murderer.

RUF'FIAN

,
Adj.
Brutal; savagely boisterous; as ruffian rage.

RUF'FIAN

,
Verb.
I.
To play the ruffian; to rage; to raise tumult.

Definition 2021


ruffian

ruffian

English

Noun

ruffian (plural ruffians)

  1. A scoundrel, rascal, or unprincipled, deceitful, brutal and unreliable person.
    • Shakespeare
      Wilt thou on thy deathbed play the ruffian?
  2. (obsolete) A pimp; a pander.
  3. (obsolete) A lover; a paramour.
    • Bishop Reynolds
      He [her husband] is no sooner abroad than she is instantly at home, revelling with her ruffians.

Synonyms

Translations

Verb

ruffian (third-person singular simple present ruffians, present participle ruffianing, simple past and past participle ruffianed)

  1. To play the ruffian; to rage; to raise tumult.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Adjective

ruffian (comparative more ruffian, superlative most ruffian)

  1. Brutal; cruel; savagely boisterous; murderous.
    ruffian rage

Anagrams


French

Noun

ruffian m (plural ruffians)

  1. Alternative spelling of rufian
    • 1943, Jean Ray, Malpertuis, 1978 ed., p. 8
      Il n'y a que la fortune pour faire d'un ruffian un honnête homme, soumis aux lois humaines.