Origin of ruffianFrench rufian from Italian ruffiano, a pander from dialect, dialectal roffia, filth from Germanic an unverified form hruf-, scurf (akin to Old High German ruf, Old English hreof) from Indo-European base an unverified form kreup- from source Lithuanian kraupus, rough: eastern; English sense influenced, influence by rough
The ruffian will be serving a long prison sentence for his crimes.
A mugger is an example of a ruffian.
- A tough or rowdy person.
- A thug or gangster.
Origin of ruffianFrench pimp from Old French rufien from Old Provençal rufian from Old Italian ruffiano
(third-person singular simple present ruffians, present participle ruffianing, simple past and past participle ruffianed)
- To play the ruffian; to rage; to raise tumult.
(comparative more ruffian, superlative most ruffian)
- Brutal; cruel; savagely boisterous; murderous.
- ruffian rage
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
French rufien, Old French ruffen, ruffian (“pimp. libertine, rake").
- He was not a ruffian or a tyrant like his father, and had indeed not a few of the domestic virtues.
- With this Douglas, Knight of Liddesdale, a ruffian and a traitor, may be said to begin the long struggle between his too powerful house and the crown.
- While negotiations were still pending, he had been set upon one evening by a fanatical ruffian, who thought to expedite matters with the dagger.
- There is no reason to doubt his sincerity, but he was coarse and intemperate - Froude roundly calls him a foul-mouthed ruffian - without the wisdom of the serpent or the harmlessness of the dove.
- All men of political influence were either in open opposition or, when they belonged to the Conservative parties, were holding aloof in disgust at the predominance of the queens favorites, Gonzales Brabo, a mere ruffian, and Marion, her steward, whose position in the palace was perfectly well known.