ruffian

A ruffian is a bully, someone who is violent toward others. Maybe they had a bad childhood, or perhaps they like the sound of people in pain. No matter where they come from, ruffians are best avoided.

Soccer fans have a reputation for being ruffians. Sure, some are sensitive poetry-reading types, but the ones that get the most attention scream obscenities, break things, and fight each other. Ruffian comes from a Germanic word that literally translates as “scabbiness,” and perhaps ruffians are covered in scabs from all the fights they start. Sometimes a ruffian is a person involved in crime, however, the word is always used to describe someone who’s a cruel, violent jerk.

DEFINITIONS OF: ruffian

1

n a cruel and brutal fellow

Synonyms:
bully, hooligan, roughneck, rowdy, tough, yob, yobbo, yobo
Types:
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bullyboy
a swaggering tough; usually one acting as an agent of a political faction
muscle, muscleman
a bully employed as a thug or bodyguard
skinhead
a young person who belongs to a British or American group that shave their heads and gather at rock concerts or engage in white supremacist demonstrations
plug-ugly, tough guy
someone who bullies weaker people
Ted, Teddy boy
a tough youth of 1950's and 1960's wearing Edwardian style clothes
Type of:
aggressor, assailant, assaulter, attacker
someone who attacks
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