Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

ruff 1

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.]

ruffed adj.

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).]

ruff 3

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).]

ruff 4

See ruffle2.

[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.
References in periodicals archive ?
It was early spring, and the male ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) was protecting his newly proclaimed territory: about 10 acres of young deciduous forest in front of my brother's house in Western New York.
The brother and sister red ruffed pups were born to parents Pierre and Fifi on April 25.
Red ruffed lemurs Fang and Igor arrived from Dublin Zoo and staff at Twycross are hoping one of the pair might breed with resident lemur Nadia.
Though often considered the king of gamebirds, ruffed grouse don't wear the crown regally.
The active hunting season in Missouri for the native ruffed grouse was closed this year due to declining populations statewide, a call to action by sportsmen is now needed.
Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbeUus) are the management indicator species for the condition of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the Black Hills National Forest of western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming (BHNF; U.S.
The distribution of ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) in Indiana has historically fluctuated with changing land use.
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT Michigan's Upper Peninsula--the "UP," as it's known--and ruffed grouse.
If clubs are 3-1 and the hand with one club has only two spades, a third club can be ruffed in SA and East comes back to hand with a spade - eleven tricks once more.
He threw his diamond loser on the third club, but West ruffed, cashed his queen of trumps and led a high diamond.
of Antigo, WI, entered into a partnership with the Ruffed Grouse Society, Marathon County Forestry Department and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to help restore 100 acres of mostly abandoned farmland in northern Wisconsin as a habitat for woodcocks.
The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) has announced a limited raffle drawing for a new Parker Gun AAHE 28-gauge side-by-side shotgun, commissioned to the Remington Arms Co.