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 roughLondon 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

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 upwas 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

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 As parents work to support their children in rough times, focusing on the school’s plan can help calm nerves. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "Should parents bring college kids home if they test positive for coronavirus?," 12 Sep. 2020 Most Valuable Player spent the first month-plus of the season polishing some rough edges at the team’s secondary camp in Bowie. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Keegan Akin shuts down Yankees, DJ Stewart homers twice in 6-1 Orioles win," 5 Sep. 2020 Much of the four-day Republican convention was meant to repair the damage and soften Trump's rough edges. Jonathan Lemire, Star Tribune, "Trump out to build 'permission structure' to win back voters," 4 Sep. 2020 Trask now looks to smooth out the rough edges and hone the fine points of the game, beginning with improving his 66.9 completion percentage despite it ranking third in the SEC. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Gators QB Kyle Trask leaner, lighter and eager to help UF meet weighty expectations," 2 Sep. 2020 But in some cases, these platforms — which are still smoothing out some rough edges — proved invaluable. Washington Post, "Hipcamp, Tentrr and the Dyrt: Trying out camping’s newest start-ups," 28 Aug. 2020 That also might explain why first lady Melania Trump, during her keynote that followed, sought to soften the president’s rough edges. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "GOP convention message: Trump is nice, but not too nice to get the job done," 26 Aug. 2020 In just a few short days, Seattle protesters who once violently clashed with riot police over the death of George Floyd have had their rough edges dulled by tens of thousands of tourists and sightseers. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "George Floyd live updates: Atlanta police officer fired, chief resigns after Rayshard Brooks killed; Secret Service admits to pepper spray," 15 June 2020 Once again, the Sun were able to ride out a rough offensive outing and stay in the game because of their defense. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, "Four takeaways from the Connecticut Sun’s win over the New York Liberty, which kept them in the playoff hunt," 2 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Soon after, the movie's rather rough-looking cast of characters is all introduced. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Devil All The Time' Trailer: Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson Lead Town of Sinners in Backwoods Ohio," 13 Aug. 2020 His languid acerbic wit and genteel sophistication are the perfect foil to Carell's tightly wound, rough-around-the-edges, everything-by-the-book general, who feels deeply but keeps those feelings bottled up, as a good soldier should. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "The Ars verdict is in: Space Force is the best new series of 2020 (so far)," 29 May 2020 Walls and decorative transom windows above doors were covered in rough-cut plywood. oregonlive, "Airbnb owner to sell beloved Portland Victorian: ‘A beautiful space to spark imagination’," 1 June 2020 Most are sleeping rough, either full-time or intermittently. The Economist, "No crib for a bed On any one winter night, around 5,000 people in Britain sleep rough," 18 Dec. 2019 Shelves above each bed are made from rough-cut and original two-by-fours repurposed when these apartments were remodeled last winter and spring. Dina Mishev, Washington Post, "Missoula," 11 Sep. 2019 Thousands of migrants are sleeping rough on the streets and the parks after trying to cross the border into Croatia but are being pushed back into Bosnia, aid groups say. Washington Post, "Aid groups: Migrant humanitarian crisis looming in Bosnia," 13 June 2019 By answering the conjecture, the coauthors of the new work have placed a rough-cut restriction on the spaces in which higher-rank lattices can act. Quanta Magazine, "A Proof About Where Symmetries Can’t Exist," 23 Oct. 2018 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That’s where a lot of those guys that shine as diamonds in the rough really come through. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: NFL training camp limitations leave many rookies, coaching staffs in tough spot," 15 Aug. 2020 On the drivable par-4 No. 16, for example, his tee shot with a 3-wood went into the right rough. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Tony Finau’s 66 gives him a tie for fourth place in the PGA Championship," 10 Aug. 2020 Friday, Rory McIlroy drove into the right rough and, with no galleries and very few spotters and marshals, the ball disappeared, lost. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Cool, gray city of golf: Harding Park, SF put on a show for PGA Championship," 8 Aug. 2020 Or, use a knotty rough-sawn cedar and dispense with careful adjustments to produce a rustic planter well suited to life outdoors. Thomas Klenck, Popular Mechanics, "How To Build You Own Cedar Planter Box," 20 June 2020 Whereas the Rubicon excels at methodically navigating rocks and trails, the Mojave has been fortified to charge through the wide-open rough at greater speeds. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, "2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave Leads Jeep to a New Sandbox," 17 Apr. 2020 The crowd in the evening was very different in character to the ordinary one owing to the presence of roughs, who as usual congregated rapidly in view of there being further disturbances. New York Times, "1895: London Stockbrokers Appear in Court," 21 Mar. 2020 Playing the sixth hole, Thomas’ tee shot landed in the right rough, where some tree branches blocked his path to the green. John Davis, azcentral, "Justin Thomas has another close encounter with a tree at the Phoenix Open," 31 Jan. 2020 Schauffele, who birdied the 18th in regulation to force a playoff, had to lay up from the rough near a bunker, and his 12-foot birdie putt stayed just right of the hole. BostonGlobe.com, "Rory McIlroy thought he did everything he needed to win the HSBC Champions on Sunday, and then Xander Schauffele made him do a little more.," 4 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In this time of COVID, though, players and families must rough it in different ways. Dallas News, "As PGA Tour makes its return at Colonial, players are taking precautions to remain virus-free," 9 June 2020 Higuera came through with seven shutout innings while Stanley was roughed up for nine hits and three runs in 4⅔ frames. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A recap of all 50 season openers for the Brewers," 25 Mar. 2020 The Nationals roughed up Jack Flaherty for four runs, all in the third inning; the Cardinals' 23-year-old starter hadn't allowed that many in a game since July 2, a span of 18 appearances. Howard Fendrich, chicagotribune.com, "Nationals are 1 win from the World Series after topping the Cardinals 8-1 behind Stephen Strasburg’s 12 strikeouts," 14 Oct. 2019 Gandhi was shocked when he was thrown out of train cars, roughed up for using public walkways, and segregated from European passengers on a stagecoach. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How Mahatma Gandhi changed political protest," 27 Sep. 2019 Chara earned a double-minor for roughing, Myers a single shot. Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, "Canucks take advantage of road-weary Bruins and other observations," 23 Feb. 2020 Clamp on the lid and, with mitts or folded kitchen towels on your hands for protection, give the whole thing a shake up, down and all around to rough up the potato outsides. Los Angeles Times, "How to Boil Water: Perfect English roast potatoes," 8 Apr. 2020 Hardhats are just as likely to rough up antiwar girls as antiwar men in the street, and police understand that women are just as likely to be pushers or bombers. Gloria Steinem, Time, "50 Years Ago, Gloria Steinem Wrote an Essay For TIME About Her Hopes For Women’s Futures. Here’s What She'd Add Today," 5 Mar. 2020 Then stop complaining about ticky-tack roughing the passer calls. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Are the Cincinnati Reds the NL Central favorites now? In the photo?," 27 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for rough

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rough

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rough.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rough. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for rough

rough

adjective
How to pronounce rough (audio)

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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