Synonyms for ruffian
EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR RUFFIAN
It will be seen that I treat of the Thief and Ruffian as one.
The Ruffian becomes one of the established orders of the body politic.
I demand to have the Ruffian kept out of my way, and out of the way of all decent people.
I certainly was bound by no law to allow a ruffian to cut me down, unresisting.
It is you're the ruffian to him, snubbing him when he speaks good-naturedly to you.
You know that ruffian Ussher 'll be there; and I don't want to be meeting him.
A ruffian like this Jones will make all the capital he can out of that purse.
He closed with the ruffian, grappled him by the throat, and flung him on his back.
The ruffian seemed to have lapsed into a reverie, or else he slept with open eyes.
Every country has its ruffian element, every country has its poisonous press.
1530s, "a boisterous, brutal fellow, one ready to commit any crime," from Middle French rufian "a pimp" (15c.), from Italian ruffiano "a pander, pimp," of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Germanic source related to rough (adj.), but Dutch roffiaan, German Ruffian are said to be from French. English meaning might have been influenced by similarity of sound to rough. Related: Ruffianly.
The Romanic words (e.g. Medieval Latin ruffianus, Provençal rufian, Catalan rufia, Spanish rufian) preserve the sense of "protector or owner of whores." For sense evolution in English, cf. bully (n.).