- ruff (n.)
- kind of large collar, stiffly starched, especially common in the seventeenth century, 1520s, originally in reference to sleeves (of collars, from 1550s), probably a shortened form of ruffle.
Card-playing sense is a separate word, from a former game of that name (1580s), from Middle French roffle, earlier romfle (early 15c.), from Italian ronfa, perhaps a corruption of trionfo "triumph" (from French; compare trump). The game was in vogue c. 1590-1630.
- ruff (v.)
- in cards, 1760, from ruff (n.). Related: Ruffed; ruffing.