There are 4 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.

Derivatives

ruffed

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

ruff-like

adjective

Origin

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

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Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw

There are 4 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

Origin

late 19th century: from ruffe.

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There are 4 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

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  • 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').

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There are 4 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.

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