Dictionary > Ruff


1. A muslin or linen collar plaited, crimped, or fluted, worn formerly by both sexes, now only by women and children. Here to-morrow with his best ruff on. (Shak) His gravity is much lessened since the late proclamation came out against ruffs; . . . They were come to that height of excess herein, that twenty shillings were used to be paid for starching of a ruff. (Howell)
2. Something formed with plaits or flutings, like the collar of this name. I reared this flower; . . . Soft on the paper ruff its leaves I spread. (pope)
3. An exhibition of pride or haughtiness. How many princes . . . In the ruff of all their glory, have been taken down from the head of a conquering army to the wheel of the victor’s chariot! (L’Estrange)
4. Wanton or tumultuous procedure or conduct. To ruffle it out in a riotous ruff. (Latimer)
5. A low, vibrating beat of a drum, not so loud as a roll; a ruffle.
6. (Science: machinery) A collar on a shaft ot other piece to prevent endwise motion.
7. (Science: zoology) A set of lengthened or otherwise modified feathers round, or on, the neck of a bird.
8. (Science: zoology) A limicoline bird of Europe and asia (Pavoncella, or Philommachus, pugnax) allied to the sandpipers. The males during the breeding season have a large ruff of erectile feathers, variable in their colours, on the neck, and yellowish naked tubercles on the face. They are polygamous, and are noted for their pugnacity in the breeding season. The female is called reeve, or rheeve. A variety of the domestic pigeon, having a ruff of its neck.
Origin: Of uncertain origin: cf. Icel. Rfinn rough, uncombed, Pr. Ruf rude, rough, Sp. Rufo frizzed, crisp, curled, G. Raufen to pluck, fight, rupfen to pluck, pull, E. Rough. Cf. Ruffle to wrinkle.

You will also like...

Thermographic image of face and neck
Regulation of Organic Metabolism, Growth and Energy Balance

The human body is capable of regulating growth and energy balance through various feedback mechanisms. Get to know the e..

A sperm cell fertilizing an ovum
Human Reproduction and Fertilization

For human species to obviate extinction, reproductive mature adults should be producing viable offspring in order to con..

DNA - schematic
Genetic Mutations

This tutorial looks at the mutation at the gene level and the harm it may bring. Learn about single nucleotide polymorph..

The Hominids

The hominid family diversified from the apes around 6 to 8 million years ago. Since then, the evolutionary path has prov..


Muscle cells are specialized to generate force and movement. Learn about the different types of muscle tissues in this t..

Adaptive Radiation
Adaptive Radiation

The diversification of several new species from a recent ancestral source, each adapted to utilize or occupy a vacant ad..