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Meaning of RUFFIAN

Pronunciation:  'rufeeun

WordNet Dictionary
[n]  a cruel and brutal fellow

RUFFIAN is a 7 letter word that starts with R.


 Synonyms: bully, hooligan, roughneck, rowdy, tough, yob, yobbo, yobo
 See Also: aggressor, assailant, assaulter, attacker, bullyboy, muscleman, plug-ugly, skinhead, tough guy



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Ruf"fian\ (? or ?; 277), n. [F. rufien, OF. ruffen,
    ruffian, pimp. libertine, ake; cf. pr. & Sp. rufian, It.
    ruffiano; all perhaps of German or Dutch origin; cf. G.
    raufen to pluck, scuffle, fight, OD. roffen to pander. Cf.
    Ruffle to grow urbulent.]
    1. A pimp; a pander; also, a paramour. [Obs.]
             he [her husband] is no sooner abroad than she is
             instantly at home, reveling with her ruffians. --Bp.
    2. A boisterous, cruel, brutal fellow; a desperate fellow
       ready for murderous or cruel deeds; a cutthroat.
             Wilt thou on thy deathbed play the ruffian? --Shak.
  2. \Ruf"fian\, a.
    brutal; cruel; savagely boisterous; murderous; as, ruffian
  3. \Ruf"fian\, v. i.
    To play the ruffian; to rage; to raise tumult. [R.] --Shak.