Ruf"fian, a. brutal; cruel;
savagely boisterous; murderous; as, ruffian rage.
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
he [her husband] is no sooner abroad than she is
instantly at home, reveling with her ruffians.
2. A boisterous, cruel, brutal fellow; a
desperate fellow ready for murderous or cruel deeds; a
Wilt thou on thy deathbed play the
Ruf"fian, v. i. To play the
ruffian; to rage; to raise tumult. [R.] Shak.