Definition of "ruff" [ruff]

  • A stiffly starched frilled or pleated circular collar of lace, muslin, or other fine fabric, worn by men and women in the 16th and 17th centuries. (noun)
  • A distinctive collarlike projection around the neck, as of feathers on a bird or of fur on a mammal. (noun)
  • A Eurasian sandpiper (Philomachus pugnax) the male of which has collarlike, erectile feathers around the neck during the breeding season. (noun)
  • The playing of a trump card when one cannot follow suit. (noun)
  • An old game resembling whist. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "ruff" in a sentence
  • "It was at dusk that the guard was changed at the Tower Gate, and a quarter of an hour before dusk Lord Arden's carriage stopped at the Tower Gate and an old nurse in ruff and cap and red cloak got out of it and lifted out two little gentlemen, one in black with a cloak trimmed with squirrel fur, which was Edred, and another, which was Richard, in grey velvet and marten's fur."
  • "A pampered pooch gets caught up in a "ruff" - and-tumble comedy adventure in BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA, available on DVD and Blu-ray on March 3, 2009 from Walt Disney Studios Home Ent. When a diamond-clad, bootie-wearing Beverly Hills beauty gets lost on a Mexican vacation, she proves that good things really do come in small packages."
  • "Regional Force/Provincial Force units, known as ruff-puffs — which were supposed to ferret out VC or NVA cadre activities on the village level."