Etymology: Middle English ruffelen; akin to Low German ruffelen to crumple
Date: 14th century
a. roughen, abrade
b. trouble, vex <is not ruffled by such barbs — Bruce Anderson> 2. to erect (as feathers) in or like a ruff 3. a. to flip through (as pages) b. shuffle 4. to make into a ruffle intransitive verb to become ruffled <their dispositions ruffle perceptibly — Life> II. noun Date: 1534 1. commotion, brawl 2. a state or cause of irritation 3. a. a strip of fabric gathered or pleated on one edge b. ruff II,2 4. an unevenness or disturbance of surface ; ripple • ruffly adjective III. noun Etymology: ruff a drumbeat Date: circa 1802 a low vibrating drumbeat less loud than a roll
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.