RUF'FIAN, n. A boisterous, brutal fellow; a fellow ready for any desperate crime; a robber; a cut-throat; a murderer. RUF'FIAN, a. Brutal; savagely boisterous; as ruffian rage. RUF'FIAN, v.i. To play the ruffian; to rage; to raise tumult.
Ruffian 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. Reynolds. 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.
The devil. Cant.--May the ruffian nab the cuffin queer, and let the harmanbeck trine with his kinchins about his colquarren; may the Devil take the justice, and let the constable be hanged with his children about his neck. The ruffian cly thee; the Devil take thee. Ruffian cook ruffian, who scalded the Devil in his feathers; a saying of a bad cook. Ruffian sometimes also means, a justice.