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

  • n. A multitude; a throng.
  • n. The undistinguished crowd or ordinary run of persons or things.
  • n. People who are followers, not leaders.
  • n. Sports A play in Rugby in which a mass of players gathers around a ball dropped by a tackled ball carrier, with each player attempting to gain possession of the ball by kicking it to a teammate.
  • n. Sports The mass of players during such a play. Also called loose scrum.
  • transitive v. To make a fold in; crease.
  • intransitive v. To become creased.
  • n. A crease or pucker, as in cloth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To act as a ruckman in a stoppage in Australian Rules football.
  • v. To crease or fold.
  • v. To become folded.
  • n. A crease, a wrinkle, a pucker, as on fabric.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A roc.
  • v. To draw into wrinkles or unsightly folds; to crease.
  • n. A wrinkle or crease in a piece of cloth, or in needlework.
  • intransitive v. To cower; to huddle together; to squat; to sit, as a hen on eggs.
  • n. A heap; a rick.
  • n. The common sort, whether persons or things.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To squat, like a bird on its nest or a beast crouching; crouch down; cower; hence, to huddle together; lie close, as sheep in a fold.
  • The furies made the bride-groomes bed, and on the house did rucke
  • A cursed owle, the messenger of ill successe and lucke.
  • To perch; seat, as a bird when roosting: used reflexively.
  • n. A fold, crease, or pucker in the material of a garment, resulting from faults in the making.
  • n. In printing, a crease or wrinkle made in a sheet of paper in passing from the feed-board to impression.
  • To wrinkle; crease; pucker: usually with up: as, to ruck up cloth; to ruck up a silk skirt.
  • To ruffle the temper of; annoy; vex: followed by up.
  • To become creased and wrinkled; draw up in wrinkles or puckers: as, this stuff rucks easily.
  • To be ruffled in temper; be annoyed, vexed, or excited: followed by up.
  • n. Same as rick.
  • n. A vague unit of volume, a stack, about 5¾ cubic yards of bark.
  • n. A crowd or throng; especially, a closely packed and indiscriminate crowd or mass of persons or things; a jam; a press.
  • n. The common run of persons or things; the commonplace multitude, as contrasted with the distinguished or successful few: specifically said of the defeated horses in a race.
  • n. Trash; rubbish; nonsense.
  • To gather together into heaps.
  • n. A small heifer.
  • n. A rut in a road.
  • n. Same as roc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a crowd especially of ordinary or undistinguished persons or things
  • v. become wrinkled or drawn together
  • n. an irregular fold in an otherwise even surface (as in cloth)


Middle English ruke, heap, probably of Scandinavian origin.
Ultimately from Old Norse hrukka, wrinkle, fold; see sker-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English ruke (Wiktionary)
1780, from Old Norse hrukka ("wrinkle, crease"), from Proto-Germanic *hrunkijō, *hrunkitō (“fold, wrinkle”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (“to turn, bend”). Akin to Icelandic hrukka ("wrinkle, crease, ruck"), Old High German runza ("fold, wrinkle, crease"), German Runzel ("wrinkle"), Middle Dutch ronse ("frown"). More at frounce. (Wiktionary)


  • Today he was great, after first quarter even in ruck duel.

    Archive 2006-06-01

  • "We see Daniel as a medium-term ruck project for us - we certainly don't have high expectations for the coming season, but we think it could be a two-to-three year development process instead of a four-to-five year one." | Top Stories

  • What lifts Chandler above the ruck is the exquisiteness of his prose—economical yet flexible.

    Archive 2007-10-01

  • The ruck is the greatest concern for Damien Hardwick at present as they are without genuine AFL-standard options in that position. | Top Stories

  • "They're not loyal to institutions; they're not loyal to candidates," cautions Nathan Daschle, a Democratic strategist who has founded a political website called News

  • "The ruck is my spot with a little time up forward," he told Cats TV.

    AFL Latest News

  • The referee's not called a ruck, I'm on my feet and I've got a hand on the ball.

    The Guardian World News

  • ALMOST total dominance in the ruck was the catalyst for a boilover at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday night, where the Swans handed Hawthorn a 38-point defeat.

    AFL Latest News and Broadband

  • Had it been, Arthur and Dig might have been some time getting out of the "ruck," as they politely termed the group of their pedestrian fellow-naturalists.

    The Master of the Shell

  • The one is the fisherman's liability, while working among the "ruck," to run a sharp fish-bone into his hand, the other to gash himself with his knife while attempting to operate on the tail of a skate.

    The Lively Poll A Tale of the North Sea


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  • a crease or fold - Old Norse hrukka-; or a heap or pile - Middle English ruke- among other things-- heaps and creases

    February 8, 2013

  • In America, a large stone.

    October 27, 2011

  • "2. To squat, like a bird on its nest or a beast crouching; crouch down; cower; hence, to huddle together; lie close, as sheep in a fold.
    3. The furies made the bride-groomes bed, and on the house did rucke
    4. A cursed owle, the messenger of ill successe and lucke.
    5. To perch; seat, as a bird when roosting: used reflexively."


    (I just wandered over to Gooogle Boooks, and it looks like definitions 3 and 4 are two parts of the same quotation from Arthur Golding's 1603 translation of Ovid.)

    October 26, 2011

  • In addition, ruck (intransitive verb) means to belch and (transitive verb) to belch forth (Oxford English Dictionary). See ruct.

    July 25, 2011

  • In the ruck and quibble of courtfolk
    This giant hulked, I tell you, on her scene

    from "The Queen's Complaint," Sylvia Plath

    April 14, 2008

  • ruck up my favourite meaning

    March 11, 2008

  • "MRS BREEN (Screams gaily.) O, you ruck! You ought to see yourself!"
    Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    January 28, 2007

  • Well out of that ruck I am. Devil of a job it was collecting accounts of those convents.
    Joyce, Ulysses, 8

    January 3, 2007