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1. A stiffly starched frilled or pleated circular collar of lace, muslin, or other fine fabric, worn by men and women in the 1500s and 1600s.
2. A distinctive collarlike projection around the neck, as of feathers on a bird or of fur on a mammal.
3. A migratory sandpiper (Philomachus pugnax) of the Eastern Hemisphere, the male of which has collarlike, erectile feathers around the neck during the breeding season.
[Perhaps short for ruffle.]
ruff 2(rŭf) Games
1. The playing of a trump card when one cannot follow suit.
2. An old game resembling whist.
tr. & intr.v. ruffed, ruff·ing, ruffs
To trump or play a trump.
[Obsolete French ronfle, roffle, a kind of card game, from Old French ronfle, from renfler, to rise : re-, re- + enfler, to cause to swell (from Latin īnflāre; see inflate).]
1. also ruffe Any of several marine fishes of the family Centrolophidae, usually having spiny dorsal fins.
2. A small edible fish (Arripis georgianus) of coastal and estuarine waters of southern Australia. Also called roughy.
3. Variant of ruffe..
[Middle English rowe, roffe, ruffe, any of various fishes, especially Gymnocephalus cernuus, perhaps from variant of rough, rough; see rough, or from Medieval Latin rufus, a kind of fish (perhaps from Latin rūfus, red, tawny; see rufous).]
[Of imitative origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.