from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A ruffle or pleat of lace, muslin, or other fine fabric used for trimming women's garments.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A strip of fabric used for trimming.
  • n. A pile of arched tiles, used to catch and retain oyster spawn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plaited, quilled, or goffered strip of lace, net, ribbon, or other material, -- used in place of collars or cuffs, and as a trimming for women's dresses and bonnets.
  • n. A pile of arched tiles, used to catch and retain oyster spawn.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A full quilling, frilling, or plaiting of ribbon, muslin, grenadine, net, lace, or other material, used as a trimming for women's garments, or worn at the neck and wrists.
  • n. A loose pile of arched tiles to catch and lodge oyster-spawn.
  • n. In zoology, a reticulated folding of the skin found in the hemipenes of some snakes.


French, from Old French rusche, beehive, from Medieval Latin rūsca, bark of a tree (used for making beehives), of Celtic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French (Wiktionary)


  • Further etymology takes the French word ruche to “beehive,” an allusion to the frills and plaits of a straw hive.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • The ruche goes into the butt crack, so it gives you a bigger-looking ass.

    JWwow In Maxim: Bikini & No Belly Button (PHOTOS)

  • Next, I saw our dog spring backwards from la ruche!

    enflure - French Word-A-Day

  • Moving over to the right there is a note about a "soft t-shirt with xtra-long sleeves so as to ruche up arms w/tailored men's trousers and cutting-edge blazer of new proportions."

    Angela's Sketch for the Macy's INC Challenge

  • One day, at the sight of tired circles under her eyes, she ripped from her neck a lovely ruche that she was adjusting and, throwing herself on her bed, cried as though her heart would break.

    The Titan

  • He had his association indeed with the ruche, but it was rather imperfectly romantic.

    The Ambassadors

  • Mrs. Newsome wore, at operatic hours, a black silk dress — very handsome, he knew it was “handsome” — and an ornament that his memory was able further to identify as a ruche.

    The Ambassadors

  • Thin and youthful looking at first glance, she betrayed her age on Cynthia's second glance, which picked up on the telltale signs of a woman trying too hard the little ruche of flesh at the midsection that seemed to affect almost every middle-aged woman, the sarong knotted at the waist, possibly in hopes of hiding less-than-perfect legs.

    Every Secret Thing

  • It is plain to be seen that the fluffy ruche at the throat-band, and the ruffle at the shoulder, and the spreading bow at the waist, and the trimmed sleeves, add bulkiness to a form already too generously endowed with flabby rotundity.

    What Dress Makes of Us

  • An old lady with a thin, pipe-stem neck should adopt a full ruche and fluffy, soft collar-bands.

    What Dress Makes of Us


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