rough

adjective
\ ˈrəf How to pronounce rough (audio) \
rougher; roughest

Definition of rough

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : marked by inequalities, ridges, or projections on the surface : coarse
b : covered with or made up of coarse and often shaggy hair rough-coated collie — compare smooth, wirehaired
c(1) : having a broken, uneven, or bumpy surface rough terrain
(2) : difficult to travel through or penetrate : wild into the rough woods— P. B. Shelley
2a : turbulent, tempestuous rough seas
b(1) : characterized by harshness, violence, or force
(2) : presenting a challenge : difficult rough to deal with— R. M. McAlmon
3 : coarse or rugged in character or appearance: such as
a : harsh to the ear
b : crude in style or expression
d : marked by a lack of refinement or grace : uncouth
4a : crude, unfinished rough carpentry
b : executed or ventured hastily, tentatively, or imperfectly a rough draft rough estimate also : approximate a rough idea

rough

adverb

Definition of rough (Entry 2 of 4)

2 British : without usual conveniences especially : without proper shelter become homeless and have to sleep rough London Times

rough

noun

Definition of rough (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : uneven ground covered with high grass, brush, and stones specifically : such ground bordering a golf fairway
2 : the rugged or disagreeable side or aspect hiking-camping admirers of nature in the rough— Eleanor Stirling
3a : something in a crude, unfinished, or preliminary state
b : broad outline : general terms the question … has been discussed in roughManchester Guardian Weekly
c : a hasty preliminary drawing or layout
4 : rowdy

rough

verb
roughed; roughing; roughs

Definition of rough (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : roughen
2a : to subject to abuse : manhandle, beat usually used with up
b : to subject to unnecessary and intentional violence in a sport a penalty for roughing the passer
c : shell sense 3 used with up was roughed up for six runs
3 : to calk or otherwise roughen (a horse's shoes) to prevent slipping
4a : to shape, make, or dress in a rough or preliminary way
b : to indicate the chief lines of rough out the structure of a building
rough it
: to live under harsh or primitive conditions

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Other Words from rough

Adjective

roughish \ ˈrə-​fish How to pronounce roughish (audio) \ adjective
roughness \ ˈrəf-​nəs How to pronounce roughness (audio) \ noun

Verb

rougher noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for rough

Synonyms: Adjective

bristly, brushy, cottony, fleecy, furred, furry, hairy, hirsute, shaggy, silky, unshorn, woolly (also wooly)

Antonyms: Adjective

bald, furless, glabrous, hairless, shorn, smooth

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Choose the Right Synonym for rough

Adjective

rough, harsh, uneven, rugged, scabrous mean not smooth or even. rough implies points, bristles, ridges, or projections on the surface. a rough wooden board harsh implies a surface or texture distinctly unpleasant to the touch. a harsh fabric that chafes the skin uneven implies a lack of uniformity in height, breadth, or quality. an old house with uneven floors rugged implies irregularity or roughness of land surface and connotes difficulty of travel. a rugged landscape scabrous implies scaliness or prickliness of surface. a scabrous leaf

synonyms see in addition rude

Examples of rough in a Sentence

Adjective

He trimmed the rough edge of the paper. We traveled over rough dirt roads. They hiked through rough terrain. We were a bit shaken from the plane's rough landing. He went through a rough patch after his divorce. They've hit a few rough spots in their marriage. Despite a rough start, the team won more games this season than last.

Adverb

The engine is running a little rough. Life has been treating her pretty rough. He plays rough with the dog. people living rough on the streets

Noun

He hit his drive into the rough. He showed me a few roughs of the new building.

Verb

He was called for roughing the kicker.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Looking good: Larry Schuler said that missing opening night and having a rough time the following week put his late-model program just a bit behind. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "Go get 'em, Joe: Vinachi taking aim at next step to late-model success at Grundy County Speedway," 2 June 2018 Oh told me about to help keep the waves' shape better than rough drying with a towel. Erin Reimel, Glamour, "I Got a Perm (Yes, a Perm) in Search of Perfect Beach Waves," 23 Mar. 2019 Alison mentions that her and Emily are going through a rough patch right now. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Here Are All the "Pretty Little Liars" Easter Eggs You Might've Missed in "The Perfectionists" Premiere," 21 Mar. 2019 Fallout 77 Fallout 76 had a rough launch, but to its credit Bethesda’s not abandoning the game yet. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Free copies of Thimbleweed Park, major overhauls for Fallout 76 and The Bard's Tale IV," 18 Feb. 2019 The result is a device that could have huge implications for hundreds of thousands of military members, from sailors on a destroyer in rough seas to aerial refueling tanker crews flying through turbulence. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A New Electronic Device Could Cure the Military's Big Motion Sickness Problem," 22 Nov. 2018 That makes for a rough start to what was shaping up to be a challenging year for Intel. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Intel: Good Times Never Last," 24 Jan. 2019 No need to worry about rough waters either—the meter-thick concrete walls protect the structure from varying sea conditions and pressure. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You Won't Believe What This Underwater Restaurant Looks Like Inside," 21 Feb. 2019 Though the hosts seemed to have a good outlook on the special’s rough moments, the audience at home wasn’t as forgiving. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Why Everyone Thinks Carson Daly's New Year's Eve Special Was a 'Complete Disaster'," 2 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

When Trump suggested that police rough up suspects, the crowd—and the uniformed officers sitting behind him on stage—applauded. David A. Graham, The Atlantic, "Trump's Vision of Lawless Order," 28 July 2017 Last night, Morris updated her Instagram story with a close-up shot of the engagement ring—a large, unique rough-cut diamond. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Maren Morris & Ryan Hurd Are Engaged—and Her Ring Is the Most Unique We've Ever Seen," 10 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His lob wedge from a fluffy lie in the rough came out soft, short and in a bunker. Doug Ferguson, The Seattle Times, "Woods meets his match in Lucas Bjerregaard at Match Play," 31 Mar. 2019 The course features narrow fairways and penal rough, as well as green complexes that are guarded by bunkers aplenty and dense rough. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Quicken Loans National Preview: History, Field, Odds, Predictions," 27 June 2018 But Facebook has had a particularly rough last 18 months. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Facebook reportedly used anti-Semitic attacks to discredit its critics," 15 Nov. 2018 Webb Simpson knocked his tee shot into the right rough on Thursday and needed three tries to get out of it; the first two combined for 15 yards before Simpson finally found the fairway and eventually accepted double bogey. Stephanie Apstein, SI.com, "Lengthened and Unforgiving, 14th Hole Is the Most Dreaded at Shinnecock Hills in U.S. Open," 15 June 2018 Once a year, golfers should be pushed to their limits in brutal conditions — yes, even on bone-dry greens, in crazy wind and with super-high roughs. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "Are you not entertained? The U.S. Open was an all-time classic," 18 June 2018 Woods was busy putting his tee shot in the right rough then being too aggressive with his approach. Michael Rosenberg, SI.com, "Unable to Avoid 'Others,' Tiger Woods Turned a 72 Into a 78 on Thurday at the U.S. Open," 14 June 2018 An onion, or maybe half an onion, peeled and rough chopped. Paula Forbes, GQ, "How to Make Salsa, the Party Food for Lazy People," 9 June 2018 Woods got to 8-under par for his round with back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12, but a wayward drive into some very thick rough led to his first bogey of the day at the par-4 14th and stalled his run at a course record. Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Tiger Woods made a furious charge up the leaderboard Saturday," 12 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Vegas’ Ryan Reaves was assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty and two minutes for roughing for his role in a brawl late in the first period. Gideon Rubin, The Seattle Times, "Burns scores in OT, Sharks top Golden Knights 4-3," 30 Mar. 2019 While summer is the perfect season to get outside and enjoy nature, not everyone is comfortable roughing it. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "5 glamping destinations in the US for those who want to enjoy nature in complete comfort," 27 July 2018 The Heat kept trying to rough up the Sixers, who didn’t back down. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Sixers stick together in physical playoff series," 24 Apr. 2018 Some 63 journalists were roughed up, and 13 had their audio or video equipment destroyed. David Greenberg, WSJ, "A Half Century of ‘Liberal Media Bias’," 23 Aug. 2018 In the happy glow of the victory Sunday night, Carroll basically laughed off a question about the health of kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who fell hard to the turf when he was roughed on a field-goal attempt in the second quarter. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks ‘are working’ to keep Frank Clark, and more takeaways from Pete Carroll," 24 Dec. 2018 There were 34 roughing calls through the first three weeks and 19 in the three weeks since the call. Rob Maaddi, The Seattle Times, "NFL wants players to play with a free mind," 16 Oct. 2018 Both of those were constants in Meghan's routine as well, although brand reps say that Sellers would rough-dry Meghan's hair with her hands, instead of a round brush, to keep her tousled texture. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "The Unlikely Connection Between Meghan Markle and Becca Kufrin," 8 Aug. 2018 Though the fight initially only involved the wife, her son and Anderson, the husband intervened after Anderson began roughing up his wife, WXYZ reports. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Woman bites off man’s ear in fight over Chinese food order, Michigan cops say," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rough.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rough

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rough

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English rūh; akin to Old High German rūh rough, Lithuanian raukas wrinkle

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Statistics for rough

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rough

The first known use of rough was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for rough

rough

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of rough

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: having a surface that is not even
: having or causing sudden, violent movements
somewhat informal : difficult or unpleasant to deal with

rough

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of rough (Entry 2 of 4)

: in a rough way
British : outside and without shelter

rough

noun

English Language Learners Definition of rough (Entry 3 of 4)

golf : an area on a golf course covered with tall grass that makes it difficult to hit the ball
: something (such as a drawing) that is done quickly and is not detailed or finished
informal + old-fashioned : a person who is loud and violent

rough

verb

English Language Learners Definition of rough (Entry 4 of 4)

American football + ice hockey : to hit (a player) very hard in a way that is not allowed by the rules

rough

adjective
\ ˈrəf How to pronounce rough (audio) \
rougher; roughest

Kids Definition of rough

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : uneven in surface rough tree bark a rough road
2 : having many bumps and jolts a rough ride
3 : not calm rough seas
4 : being harsh or violent rough treatment
5 : difficult or unpleasant to deal with “You're in for a rough night …”— J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets
6 : coarse or rugged in nature or look a rough face
7 : having a harsh sound a rough voice
8 : not complete or exact a rough estimate a rough draft

Other Words from rough

roughly adverb
roughness noun

rough

noun

Kids Definition of rough (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : uneven ground covered with high grass, brush, and stones
2 : something in a crude or unfinished state It's not a finished drawing, just a rough.

rough

verb
roughed; roughing

Kids Definition of rough (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : to handle violently : beat He was roughed up by bullies.
2 : to make or shape coarsely or unevenly
rough it
: to live without ordinary comforts We spent the summer roughing it in northern Maine.

rough

adjective
\ ˈrəf How to pronounce rough (audio) \

Medical Definition of rough

: having a broken, uneven, or bumpy surface specifically : forming or being rough colonies usually made up of organisms that form chains or filaments and tend to marked decrease in capsule formation and virulence used of dissociated strains of bacteria — compare smooth

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More from Merriam-Webster on rough

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rough

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rough

Spanish Central: Translation of rough

Nglish: Translation of rough for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rough for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rough

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