rugged (adj.) Look up rugged at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "rough, shaggy, careworn" (originally of animals), from Old Norse rogg "shaggy tuft" (see rug). "The precise relationship to ragged is not quite clear, but the stem is no doubt ultimately the same" [OED]. Meaning "vigorous, strong, robust" is American English, by 1848.
We were challenged with a peace-time choice between the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of diametrically opposed doctrines -- doctrines of paternalism and state socialism. [Herbert Hoover, speech in New York, Oct. 22, 1928]
Hoover said the phrase was not his own, and it is attested from 1897, though not in a patriotic context. Related: Ruggedly; ruggedness.
rugrat (n.) Look up rugrat at Dictionary.com
also rug-rat, "baby, child," by 1968; see rug + rat (n.).
ruin (n.) Look up ruin at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "act of giving way and falling down," from Old French ruine "a collapse" (14c.), and directly from Latin ruina "a collapse, a rushing down, a tumbling down" (source also of Spanish ruina, Italian rovina), related to ruere "to rush, fall violently, collapse," from PIE *reue- (2) "to smash, knock down, tear out, dig up" (see rough (adj.)). Meaning "complete destruction of anything" is from 1670s. Ruins "remains of a decayed building or town" is from mid-15c.; the same sense was in the Latin plural noun.
ruin (v.) Look up ruin at Dictionary.com
1580s (transitive), from ruin (n.). Intransitive sense "fall into ruin" is from c.1600. Financial sense is attested from 1660. Related: Ruined; ruining.
ruination (n.) Look up ruination at Dictionary.com
1660s, from verb ruinate "to go to ruin" (1540s), from Medieval Latin ruinatus, past participle of ruinare, from Latin ruina (see ruin (n.)).
ruinous (adj.) Look up ruinous at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "going to ruin," from Old French ruinos (Modern French ruineux) or directly from Latin ruinosus "tumbling down, going to ruin," from ruina (see ruin (n.)). Meaning "causing ruin" is from mid-15c. Related: Ruinously.
rule (n.) Look up rule at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "principle or maxim governing conduct, formula to which conduct must be conformed" from Old French riule, Norman reule "rule, custom, (religious) order" (in Modern French partially re-Latinized as règle), from Vulgar Latin *regula, from Latin regula "straight stick, bar, ruler;" figuratively "a pattern, a model," related to regere "to rule, straighten, guide" (see regal). Replaced Old English wealdan.

Meaning "regulation governing play of a game, etc." is from 1690s. Phrase rule of thumb first attested 1690s. Rule of law "supremacy of impartial and well-defined laws to any individual's power" is from 1883. Meaning "strip used for making straight lines or measuring" is recorded from mid-14c. Typography sense is attested from 1680s.
rule (v.) Look up rule at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "to control, guide, direct," from Old French riuler "impose rule," from Latin regulare (see regulate). Legal sense "establish by decision" is recorded from early 15c. Meaning "mark with lines" is from 1590s. Meaning "to dominate, prevail" is from 1874. "Rule Brittania," patriotic song, is from 1740. Related: Ruled; ruling.
ruler (n.) Look up ruler at Dictionary.com
"one who rules," late 14c., agent noun from rule (v.). Meaning "instrument used for making straight lines" is c.1400 (compare rule (n.)).
ruling (n.) Look up ruling at Dictionary.com
"determination by a judge or court on a point arising in the course of a trial or hearing," 1550s, verbal noun from rule (v.).
ruly (adj.) Look up ruly at Dictionary.com
"conforming to (religious) rule; amenable to rule, disciplined, orderly," reuleli; from rule (n.) + -ly (2).
rum (n.) Look up rum at Dictionary.com
"liquor from sugar cane or molasses," 1650s, shortening of rumbullion (1651), rombostion (1652), of uncertain origin, perhaps from rum (adj.).
The chiefe fudling they make in the Island [i.e. Barbados] is Rumbullion alias Kill-Devill, and this is made of suggar cane distilled, a hott, hellish and terrible liquor. ["A briefe Description of the Island of Barbados," 1651]
The English word was borrowed into Dutch, German, Swedish, Danish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Russian. Used since 1800 in North America as a general (hostile) name for intoxicating liquors.
Rum I take to be the name which unwashed moralists apply alike to the product distilled from molasses and the noblest juices of the vineyard. Burgundy in "all its sunset glow" is rum. Champagne, soul of "the foaming grape of Eastern France," is rum. ... Sir, I repudiate the loathsome vulgarism as an insult to the first miracle wrought by the Founder of our religion! [Oliver Wendell Holmes, "The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table," 1891]
rum (adj.) Look up rum at Dictionary.com
"excellent, fine, good, valuable," 1560s, from rome "fine" (1560s), said to be from Romany rom "male, husband" (see Romany). E.g. rum kicks "Breeches of gold or silver brocade, or richly laced with gold or silver" [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1785].

A very common 16c. cant word, by 1774 it also had come to mean "odd, strange, bad, spurious," perhaps because it had been so often used approvingly by rogues in reference to one another. This was the main sense after c.1800.
rum-runner (n.) Look up rum-runner at Dictionary.com
"smuggler or transporter of illicit liquor," 1919, from rum (n.) + runner.
rumba (n.) Look up rumba at Dictionary.com
1919, from Cuban Spanish rumba, originally "spree, carousal," derived from Spanish rumbo "spree, party," earlier "ostentation, pomp, leadership," perhaps originally "the course of a ship," from rombo "rhombus," in reference to the compass, which is marked with a rhombus. The verb is recorded from 1932. Related: Rumbaed; rumbaing.
rumble (v.) Look up rumble at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "make a deep, heavy, continuous sound," also "move with a rolling, thundering sound," also "create disorder and confusion," probably related to Middle Dutch rommelen "to rumble," Middle High German rummeln, Old Norse rymja "to shout, roar," all of imitative origin. Related: Rumbled; rumbling.
rumble (n.) Look up rumble at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from rumble (v.). Slang noun meaning "gang fight" is from 1946. Meaning "backmost part of a carriage" is from 1808 (earlier rumbler, 1801), probably from the effect of sitting over the wheels; hence rumble seat (1828).
rumbustious (adj.) Look up rumbustious at Dictionary.com
1778, an arbitrary formation, part of what Farmer describes as "A class of colloquialisms compounded with an intensive prefix" (ram- or rum-), probably suggesting in part rum (adj.) in its old slang sense of "good, fine," and ramp (n.2). In this case apparently suggested by boisterous, robustious, bumptious, etc. Coined about the same time were rumbustical, rambumptious "conceited, self-assertive," ramgumptious "shrewd, bold, rash," rambuskious "rough," rumstrugenous. Also compare ramshackle, rambunctious.
rumen (n.) Look up rumen at Dictionary.com
"first stomach of a ruminant," 1728, from Latin rumen "the throat," of uncertain origin.
ruminant (n.) Look up ruminant at Dictionary.com
1660s, from Latin ruminantem (nominative ruminans), present participle of ruminare "to chew the cud" (see ruminate). As an adjective from 1670s.
ruminate (v.) Look up ruminate at Dictionary.com
1530s, "to turn over in the mind," also "to chew cud" (1540s), from Latin ruminatus, past participle of ruminare "to chew the cud; turn over in the mind," from rumen (genitive ruminis) "gullet," of uncertain origin. Related: Ruminated; ruminating.
rumination (n.) Look up rumination at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "act of ruminating; act of meditating," from Latin ruminationem (nominative ruminatio) "a chewing the cud," noun of action from past participle stem of ruminare (see ruminate).
rummage (v.) Look up rummage at Dictionary.com
1540s, "arrange (cargo) in a ship," from rummage (n.), 1520s, "act of arranging cargo in a ship," a shortening of Middle French arrumage "arrangement of cargo," from arrumer "to stow goods in the hold of a ship," from a- "to" + rumer, probably from Germanic (compare Old Norse rum "compartment in a ship," Old High German rum "space," Old English rum; see room (n.)). Or else from English room (n.) + -age.

Meaning "to search closely (the hold of a ship), especially by moving things about" first recorded 1610s. Related: Rummaged; rummaging. Rummage sale (1803) originally was a sale at docks of unclaimed goods.
rummy (n.) Look up rummy at Dictionary.com
card game, 1910, rhummy, of unknown origin. Gin rummy is first attested 1941. Meaning "drunkard" is 1851, from rum (n.). Meaning "opponent of temperance" in U.S. politics is from 1860.
rumor (n.) Look up rumor at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French rumor "commotion, widespread noise or report" (Modern French rumeur), from Latin rumorem (nominative rumor) "noise, clamor, common talk, hearsay, popular opinion," related to ravus "hoarse," from PIE *reu- "to bellow." Related: Rumorous. Rumor mill is from 1887. Dutch rumoer, German Rumor are from French.
rumor (v.) Look up rumor at Dictionary.com
1590s, "spread a rumor; spread by way of rumor," from rumor (n.). Related: Rumored; rumoring.
rumour Look up rumour at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of rumor; see -or. Related: Rumoured; rumouring.
rump (n.) Look up rump at Dictionary.com
"hind-quarters, buttocks of an animal," mid-15c., from a Scandinavian source (compare Danish, Norwegian rumpe, Swedish rumpa), from or corresponding to Middle Dutch romp, German Rumpf "trunk, torso." Sense of "small remnant" derives from "tail" and is first recorded 1640s in reference to the English Rump Parliament (December 1648-April 1653). As an adjective from c.1600.
Rumpelstiltskin (n.) Look up Rumpelstiltskin at Dictionary.com
1840, from German Rumpelstilzchen. The German form of the name is used in English from 1828.
rumple (v.) Look up rumple at Dictionary.com
c.1600, possibly a variant of rimple "to wrinkle" (c.1400), from Old English hrympel "wrinkle" (possibly influenced by Middle Dutch rumpelen), related to Old English hrimpan "to fold, wrinkle" (see ramp (v.)). Related: Rumpled; rumpling. As a noun from c.1500.
rumpus (n.) Look up rumpus at Dictionary.com
1764, of unknown origin, "prob. a fanciful formation" [OED], possibly an alteration of robustious "boisterous, noisy" (1540s; see robust). First record of rumpus room "play room for children in a family home" is from 1938.
run (v.) Look up run at Dictionary.com
the modern verb is a merger of two related Old English words, in both of which the first letters sometimes switched places. The first is intransitive rinnan, irnan "to run, flow, run together" (past tense ran, past participle runnen), cognate with Middle Dutch runnen, Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic rinnan, German rinnen "to flow, run."

The second is Old English transitive weak verb ærnan, earnan "ride, run to, reach, gain by running" (probably a metathesis of *rennan), from Proto-Germanic *rannjanan, causative of the root *ren- "to run." This is cognate with Old Saxon renian, Old High German rennen, German rennen, Gothic rannjan.

Both are from PIE *ri-ne-a-, nasalized form of root *reie- "to flow, run" (see Rhine).

Of streams, etc., from c.1200; of machinery, from 1560s. Meaning "be in charge of" is first attested 1861, originally American English. Meaning "seek office in an election" is from 1826, American English. Phrase run for it "take flight" is attested from 1640s. Many figurative uses are from horseracing or hunting (such as to run (something) into the ground, 1836, American English).

To run across "meet" is attested from 1855, American English. To run short "exhaust one's supply" is from 1752; to run out of in the same sense is from 1713. To run around with "consort with" is from 1887. Run away "flee in the face of danger" is from late 14c. To run late is from 1954.
run (n.) Look up run at Dictionary.com
"a spell of running," mid-15c. (earlier ren, late 14c.), from run (v.). The Old English noun ryne meant "a flowing, a course, a watercourse." Modern sense of "small stream" first recorded 1580s, mostly Northern English dialect and American English.

Meaning "continuous stretch" (of something) is from 1670s. Meaning "series or rush of demands on a bank, etc." is first recorded 1690s. Meaning "the privilege of going through or over" is from 1755. Baseball sense is from 1856. Meaning "single trip by a railroad train" is from 1857. Military aircraft sense is from 1916. Meaning "total number of copies printed" is from 1909. Meaning "tear in a knitted garment" is from 1922. Phrase a run for one's money is from 1872 in a figurative sense, originally from horse racing, implying competition (1841).
run-down (adj.) Look up run-down at Dictionary.com
1866, of persons, with reference to health, from verbal phrase, from run (v.) + down (adv.). From 1896 of places; 1894 of clocks. Earliest sense is "oppressed" (1680s).
run-in (n.) Look up run-in at Dictionary.com
"quarrel, confrontation," 1905, from verbal phrase, from run (v.) + in (adv.). From 1857 as "an act of running in."
run-of-the-mill (adj.) Look up run-of-the-mill at Dictionary.com
"unspectacular," 1909 in a literal sense, in reference to material yielded by a mill, etc., before sorting for quality (compare common run "usual, ordinary type," from 1712). Figurative use is from 1922.
run-through (n.) Look up run-through at Dictionary.com
"a rehearsal," especially a hasty one, 1923, from the verbal phrase, from run (v.) + through (adv.).
run-up (n.) Look up run-up at Dictionary.com
1834, "an act of running upward," from verbal phrase, from run (v.) + up (adv.). Extended sense "period of time or sequence of events proceeding some important event" is from 1966.
runabout (n.) Look up runabout at Dictionary.com
1540s, in reference to persons, from run (v.) + about (adv.). From 1890 as a small, light type of carriage; later extended to motor cars.
runaround (n.) Look up runaround at Dictionary.com
also run-around, "deceptive, evasive treatment," 1915, from verbal phrase, from run (v.) + around (adv.).
runaway (n.) Look up runaway at Dictionary.com
1540s, "one who flees," from verbal phrase, from run (v.) + away (adv.). Meaning "an act of running away" is from 1724.
runcible Look up runcible at Dictionary.com
1871, a nonsense word coined by Edward Lear; used especially in runcible spoon "spoon with three short tines like a fork," which first took the name 1926.
runcinate (adj.) Look up runcinate at Dictionary.com
1776, "saw-toothed," from Modern Latin runcinatus, from Latin runcina "a (carpenter's) plane."
rundown (n.) Look up rundown at Dictionary.com
in baseball, 1908, from verbal phrase, from run (v.) + down (adv.). Meaning "list of entries in a horse race and the odds" is from 1935; slang generalized sense of "summary, account, list of information or facts" is from 1945.
rune (n.) Look up rune at Dictionary.com
Old English run, rune "secret, mystery, dark mysterious statement, (secret) council," also "a runic letter" (runstæf), from Proto-Germanic *runo (cognates: Old Norse run "a secret, magic sign, runic character," Old High German runa "a secret conversation, whisper," Gothic runa), from PIE *ru-no-, source of technical terms of magic in Germanic and Celtic (cognates: Gaelic run "a secret, mystery, craft, deceit, purpose, intention, desire," Welsh rhin "a secret, charm, virtue"). Also see Runnymede.

The word entered Middle English as roun and by normal evolution would have become Modern English *rown, but it died out mid-15c. when the use of runes did. The modern usage is from late 17c., from German philologists who had reintroduced the word in their writings from a Scandinavian source (such as Danish rune, from Old Norse run). The runic alphabet is believed to have developed by 2c. C.E. from contact with Greek writing, with the letters modified to be more easily cut into wood or stone.
rung (n.) Look up rung at Dictionary.com
Old English hrung "rod, bar," from Proto-Germanic *khrungo (cognates: Middle Low German runge, Old High German runga "stake, stud, stave," German Runge "stake, stud, stave," Middle Dutch ronghe, Dutch rong "rung," Gothic hrugga "staff"), of unknown origin with no connections outside Germanic. Sense in English narrowed to "round or stave of a ladder" (first attested late 13c.), but usage of cognate words remains more general in other Germanic languages.
This [rungs] has generally been considered as a mere corruption of rounds; and people of education use only this latter word. [John Pickering, "A Vocabulary or Collection of Words and Phrases which have been Supposed to be Peculiar to the United States of America," Boston, 1816]
runic (adj.) Look up runic at Dictionary.com
1660s, from Modern Latin runicus, from Old Norse run (see rune).
runnel (n.) Look up runnel at Dictionary.com
"rivulet," 1570s, in Hakluyt, alteration of Middle English ryneil, from Old English rinelle, rynel, a diminutive of ryne "a stream" (see run (n.)).
runner (n.) Look up runner at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "messenger on foot," agent noun from run (v.). Meaning "one who runs" is early 14c. Meaning "smuggler" first recorded 1721; sense of "police officer" is from 1771. Meaning "rooting stem of a plant" is from 1660s; that of "embroidered cloth for a table" is from 1888.
runner-up (n.) Look up runner-up at Dictionary.com
1842, originally in dog racing, "dog that loses only the final race;" see runner + up. General sense is from 1885.