rough-and-tumble

noun
rough-and-tum·​ble | \ ˌrə-fən-ˈtəm-bəl How to pronounce rough-and-tumble (audio) \

Definition of rough-and-tumble

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: rough disorderly unrestrained fighting or struggling also : infighting

rough-and-tumble

adjective

Definition of rough-and-tumble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : marked by rough-and-tumble grew up in a rough-and-tumble atmosphere— E. J. Kahn also : rough-and-ready
2 : put together haphazardly : makeshift a rough-and-tumble fence

Synonyms & Antonyms for rough-and-tumble

Synonyms: Noun

affray [chiefly British], brawl, broil, donnybrook, fracas, fray, free-for-all, melee (also mêlée), row, ruckus, ruction

Synonyms: Adjective

artless, clumsy, crude, jerry-built, jerry-rigged, jury-rigged, rough, rough-and-ready, rough-hewn, rude, unrefined

Antonyms: Adjective

refined

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

First Known Use of rough-and-tumble

Noun

1810, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rough-and-tumble

Statistics for rough-and-tumble

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rough-and-tumble

The first known use of rough-and-tumble was in 1810

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rough-and-tumble

rough-and-tumble

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of rough-and-tumble

: disorderly, loud, and rough
: very competitive and aggressive

More from Merriam-Webster on rough-and-tumble

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rough-and-tumble

Comments on rough-and-tumble

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

WORD OF THE DAY

one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!