There are 4 main definitions of ruff in English:

ruff1

Line breaks: ruff
Pronunciation: /rʌf
 
/

noun

1A projecting starched frill worn round the neck, characteristic of Elizabethan and Jacobean costume: an Elizabethan ruff
More example sentences
  • As low necklines gave way to ruffs of starched lace, enameled gold and jeweled necklaces hung to the waist and below on men and women alike.
  • Throughout Lady Rebecca regaled members with interesting titbits and explanations of why the Elizabethans wore shifts, fur trimming, cuffs and ruffs, etc.
  • In Elizabethan times the roots were dried and crushed and the powder was mixed with water and used to stiffen the ruffs worn by the gentry.
2A projecting or conspicuously coloured ring of feathers or hair round the neck of a bird or mammal: a ruff of long pointed feathers my nape stirred like the ruff of a dog in a thunderstorm
More example sentences
  • The tail has a dark band at the end, with a lighter tip, which, like the dark ruff around the neck, is evident when fanned open.
  • In addition, bicolors have a white ruff, white legs and feet and may have patches of white on their bodies.
  • Bird feathers used in mate attraction may form huge crests, ruffs, or tails: the male peacock tail is a case in point.
3A pigeon of a domestic breed with a ruff of feathers on its neck.
4 (plural same or ruffs) A North Eurasian wading bird, the male of which has a large variously coloured ruff and ear tufts in the breeding season, used in display.
  • Philomachus pugnax, family Scolopacidae; the female is called a reeve
More example sentences
  • Elsewhere, we came across storks, ruffs and egrets, and herons of all descriptions.
  • We determined the frequencies of polyandrous mating and multiple paternity in the ruff, a lekking shorebird with a genetic dimorphism in male mating behavior.
  • About 50 species were recorded there including long distance migrants like pallid harriers, ruff and reeves, white ibis, comb ducks, etc.

Origin

early 16th century (first used denoting a frill around a sleeve): probably from a variant of rough.

Derivatives

ruffed

adjective
More example sentences
  • His shirtfront boasted a large ruffed collar that measured at least twelve inches in breadth.

ruff-like

adjective

Definition of ruff in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

There are 4 main definitions of ruff in English:

ruff2

Line breaks: ruff
Pronunciation: /rʌf
 
/

noun

1 (also tommy ruff) An edible marine fish of Australian inshore waters that is related to the Australian salmon. Also called roughy in Australia.
  • Arripis georgianus, family Arripidae
2 variant spelling of ruffe.

Origin

late 19th century: from ruffe.

Definition of ruff in:

There are 4 main definitions of ruff in English:

ruff3

Line breaks: ruff
Pronunciation: /rʌf
 
/

verb

[no object]
1(In bridge, whist, and similar card games) play a trump in a trick which was led in a different suit: declarer ruffed and then led a heart
More example sentences
  • The purpose of making a multiple lead is that provided that each opponent has at least one card of the suit led they cannot win by ruffing.
  • South could have survived by ruffing with dummy's spade six and running the spade jack, but he extravagantly ruffed with dummy's jack, then played a spade to his queen.
1.1 [with object] Play a trump on (a card in another suit): South ruffs a low spade
More example sentences
  • I ruffed the first club in my hand and then played a trump to the ace.
  • Then I ruffed a diamond, ruffed my last heart with the king and ruffed another diamond.
  • South ruffs a diamond in his hand, he takes the ace of clubs, ruffs a diamond, and leads the king and jack of clubs, pitching a spade from dummy when West covers.

noun

Back to top  
An act of ruffing or opportunity to ruff: he gave his partner a spade ruff
More example sentences
  • It is often bad to lead the second round of hearts, because of the danger of giving a ruff and discard to the opponents, since there are only six cards in the suit.
  • This strategy suits hands which look to be strong in honour cards or have a long suit that may be run through without ruffs by the opponent.

Origin

late 16th century (originally the name of a card game resembling whist): from Old French rouffle, a parallel formation to Italian ronfa (perhaps an alteration of trionfo 'a trump').

Definition of ruff in:

There are 4 main definitions of ruff in English:

ruff4

Line breaks: ruff
Pronunciation: /rʌf
 
/

noun

Music
One of the basic patterns (rudiments) of drumming, consisting of a single note preceded by either two grace notes played with the other stick ( double-stroke ruff or drag) or three grace notes played with alternating sticks ( four-stroke ruff).
More example sentences
  • One passage suggests the right hand is playing open and closed high hat notes while simultaneously playing four-stroke ruffs with the left hand.
  • The Four Stroke Ruff is a wonderful embellishment that has three grace notes and a prime note.

Origin

late 17th century: probably imitative.

Definition of ruff in: