\ ˈräk \
rocked; rocking; rocks

Definition of rock

 (Entry 1 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to move back and forth in or as if in a cradle
2a : to cause to sway back and forth a boat rocked by the waves
b(1) : to cause to shake violently
(2) : to daze with or as if with a vigorous blow a hard right rocked the contender
(3) : to astonish or disturb greatly the scandal rocked the community
3 : to rouse to excitement (as by performing rock music) rocked the crowd
4 informal : to wear, display, or feature (something striking, distinctive, or attractive) Carly Patterson is rocking a tight yellow T-shirt with jeans and high wooden sandals, belting her lyrics into a microphone.— Kate Hairopolous In the picture he's rocking a beard, a pair of shades and a striped t-shirt.— Sam Haysom

intransitive verb

1 : to become moved backward and forward under often violent impact also : to move gently back and forth
2 : to move forward at a steady pace also : to move forward at a high speed the train rocked through the countryside
3 : to sing, dance to, or play rock music
4 slang : to be extremely enjoyable, pleasing, or effective her new car rocks
rock the boat
: to do something that disturbs the equilibrium of a situation


noun (1), often attributive

Definition of rock (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : a rocking movement
2 : popular music usually played on electronically amplified instruments and characterized by a persistent heavily accented beat, repetition of simple phrases, and often country, folk, and blues elements


noun (2)

Definition of rock (Entry 3 of 5)

1 : distaff
2 : the wool or flax on a distaff


noun (3)

Definition of rock (Entry 4 of 5)

1 : a large mass of stone forming a cliff, promontory, or peak
2 : a concreted mass of stony material also : broken pieces of such masses
3 : consolidated or unconsolidated solid mineral matter also : a particular mass of it
4a : something like a rock in firmness:
(2) : refuge a rock of independent thought … in an ocean of parochialism— Thomas Molnar
b : something that threatens or causes disaster often used in plural
5a : a flavored stick candy with color running through

6 slang

a : gem
b : diamond
7a : a small crystallized mass of crack cocaine
8 : the ball used in basketball
between a rock and a hard place or less commonly between the rock and the hard place
: in a difficult or uncomfortable position with no attractive way out
on the rocks
1 : in or into a state of destruction or wreckage their marriage is on the rocks
2 : on ice cubes bourbon on the rocks


geographical name
\ ˈräk \

Definition of Rock (Entry 5 of 5)

river 300 miles (483 kilometers) long in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois flowing south and southwest into the Mississippi River at the city of Rock Island

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Other Words from rock

Noun (3)

rock adjective
rocklike \ ˈräk-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms for rock

Synonyms: Verb

careen, lurch, pitch, roll, seesaw, sway, toss, wobble (also wabble)

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Choose the Right Synonym for rock


shake, agitate, rock, convulse mean to move up and down or to and fro with some violence. shake often carries a further implication of a particular purpose. shake well before using agitate suggests a violent and prolonged tossing or stirring. an ocean agitated by storms rock suggests a swinging or swaying motion resulting from violent impact or upheaval. the whole city was rocked by the explosion convulse suggests a violent pulling or wrenching as of a body in a paroxysm. spectators were convulsed with laughter

Examples of rock in a Sentence


She gently rocked the baby to sleep. He rocked back and forth while he stood waiting. The boat rocked back and forth on the waves. An earthquake rocked the town. The building was rocked by an explosion. The news of the murders rocked the town. Their invention rocked the computer industry. The band rocked the crowd.
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First Known Use of rock


12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1559, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rock


Middle English rokken, from Old English roccian; akin to Old High German rucken to cause to move

Noun (2)

Middle English roc, from Middle Dutch rocke; akin to Old High German rocko distaff

Noun (3)

Middle English rokke, from Old French dialect (Norman & Picard) roke, from Vulgar Latin *rocca

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Statistics for rock

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Time Traveler for rock

The first known use of rock was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for rock



English Language Learners Definition of rock

: to move (someone or something) back and forth or from side to side

: to cause (something) to shake violently

: to cause (someone or something) to be upset or shocked


\ ˈräk \
rocked; rocking

Kids Definition of rock

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to move gently back and forth or side to side
2 : to cause (something) to shake violently An earthquake rocked the town.



Kids Definition of rock (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : solid mineral deposits The bulldozer hit rock.
2 : a mass of stone The ship washed up on the rocks. I picked up a rock from the path.



Kids Definition of rock (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a rocking movement
2 : popular music played on instruments that are amplified electronically


\ ˈräk \

Medical Definition of rock

1 : a small crystallized mass of crack cocaine
2 : crack

called also rock cocaine

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More from Merriam-Webster on rock

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rock

Spanish Central: Translation of rock

Nglish: Translation of rock for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rock for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about rock

Comments on rock

What made you want to look up rock? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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