Definition of ruffian noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈrʌfiən//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈrʌfiən//
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a violent man, especially one who commits crimes synonym thug a gang of young ruffians Word Originlate 15th cent.: from Old French ruffian, from Italian ruffiano, perhaps from dialect rofia ‘scab’, of Germanic origin.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ruffian