Ruffian
Ruffian Ruf"fian (r[u^]f"yan or r[u^]f"f[i^]*an; 277), n. [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.] [1913 Webster]

He [her husband] is no sooner abroad than she is instantly at home, reveling with her ruffians. --Bp. Reynolds. [1913 Webster]

2. A boisterous, cruel, brutal fellow; a desperate fellow ready for murderous or cruel deeds; a cutthroat. [1913 Webster]

Wilt thou on thy deathbed play the ruffian? --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence: A tough, lawless or bullying person. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • ruffian — [ ryfjɑ̃ ] n. m. VAR. rufian • XIVe; it. ruffiano, du rad. germ. hruf « croûte », pour qualifier, par métaph., la rudesse, la grossièreté ♦ Vx ou littér. Entremetteur, souteneur. « une espèce de grand voyou, commissionnaire, marchand de journaux …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Ruffian — (17 avril 1972 – 7 juillet 1975) est une jument américaine considérée comme l un des meilleurs chevaux de courses américaines au XXe siècle. Sommaire 1 Carrière 2 Palmarès récompenses 2.1 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ruffian — Ruf fian, v. i. To play the ruffian; to rage; to raise tumult. [R.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ruffian — Ruf fian, a. Brutal; cruel; savagely boisterous; murderous; as, ruffian rage. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ruffian — 1530s, from M.Fr. rufian a pimp, from It. ruffiano a pander, pimp, of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Germanic source related to ROUGH (Cf. rough) (q.v.), but Du. roffiaan, Ger. Ruffian are said to be from French. English meaning might have been …   Etymology dictionary

  • ruffian — index aggressor, delinquent, hoodlum, malefactor Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • ruffian — [n] hoodlum brute, bully, criminal, delinquent, gangster, goon*, hood, hooligan, mobster, punk, rioter, rowdy, thug, tough guy*, troublemaker; concept 412 …   New thesaurus

  • ruffian — ► NOUN ▪ a violent or lawless person. DERIVATIVES ruffianism noun ruffianly adjective. ORIGIN Old French, from Italian ruffiano, perhaps from dialect rofia scab, scurf …   English terms dictionary

  • ruffian — [ruf′ē ən, ruf′yən] n. [Fr rufian < It ruffiano, a pander < dial. roffia, filth < Gmc * hruf , scurf (akin to OHG ruf, OE hreof) < IE base * kreup > Lith kraupus, rough: E sense infl. by ROUGH] a brutal, violent, lawless person;… …   English World dictionary

  • Ruffian — A ruffian can be defined as a scoundrel, rascal or unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person. [http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Ruffian] As a proper noun, Ruffian may refer to:*Ruffian (horse), a famous thoroughbred filly racehorse *Ruffian… …   Wikipedia

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