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 He's seen ballroom dancing help couples work through rough patches. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "Doing holiday shopping? Here are 6 Detroit-area businesses owned by returning citizens," 16 Dec. 2019 The moisture-binding ingredient helps plump up skin to smooth fine lines and prevent cracked, rough patches. Claudia Fisher, Health.com, "The Unexpected Anti-Aging Product You Need for Younger Looking Hands," 25 Oct. 2019 The rest came from coastal development, which reefs help to protect by acting as buffers against rough seas. The Economist, "Asia’s coral faces a deadly onslaught," 24 Oct. 2019 My takeaway: Expect some rough patches at places old and new as everyone gets settled in. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Review: A fresh look at ‘old’ Hard Rock restaurants Kuro, the Bol and a gilded burger at Hard Rock Cafe," 24 Oct. 2019 It was scheduled for early October in Sagami Bay, southwest of Tokyo, but high winds and rough seas forced its cancellation. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea," 21 Oct. 2019 In the intervening decades, and after the end of apartheid, the relationship has seen some rough patches. Bheki Mngomezulu, Quartz Africa, "The awkward history behind Nigeria and South Africa’s turbulent relationship," 9 Oct. 2019 The rough seas generated by the storm have been blamed for sinking a tugboat that was carrying 14 crew members about 1,200 nautical miles off Martinique. Fox News, "Hurricane Lorenzo lashes Azores with high waves, heavy rain as storm takes aim at British Isles," 3 Oct. 2019 Schiff subsequently riffed off the rough transcript, giving an exaggerated performance of what Trump said on the call. Hope Yen, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Combative impeachment hearing draws too-simple answers," 10 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb 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 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 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 Kids can dump their mining rough into a mining sluice outside the cave entrance and discover their treasures. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hunt for rocks and fossils at these 2 Wisconsin destinations," 18 Oct. 2019 Woods flew his tee shot past the green and into a pit of rough, reaching the green in three before a two-putt for double bogey. The Si Staff, SI.com, "2019 U.S. Open Live Blog: Tracking Tiger, Koepka and Round One Leaders at Pebble," 13 June 2019 Drama on 17 as his drive caught the right rough, but McIlroy carved it out onto the green. Rob Hodgetts, CNN, "Emotional Rory McIlroy feels 'love' in dramatic late Open bid," 19 July 2019 Just ahead of him, Koepka only parred the hole after driving the rough, and so Woodland walked to the 15th tee with a two-shot lead cushion. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Woodland’s U.S. Open victory is all about the shot making," 16 June 2019 Thankfully there is one gem in the intergalactic rough, a character that deserves his own spinoff. Scott Craven, Detroit Free Press, "Not even wisecracking alien Pawny can save latest ‘MIB’," 13 June 2019 Thankfully there is one gem in the intergalactic rough, a character that deserves his own spinoff. Scott Craven, Detroit Free Press, "Not even wisecracking alien Pawny can save latest ‘MIB’," 13 June 2019 For four straight days, Stricker made quick work of Warren’s bent-grass fairways and greens while staying far from the fescue rough, grown out to 3½ inches in some places. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "Steve Stricker and caddie/wife Nicki make U.S. Senior Open a family affair," 30 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The man for the big occasion showed up once again to rough up Atleti's dangerous forward-line of Costa and Felix, and marshalled his backline expertly. SI.com, "Atletico Madrid 0-0 Real Madrid: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Tense Derbi Madrileño Ends All Square," 28 Sep. 2019 Bitetto and Compher both were assessed roughing minors, but the crosscheck was ignored, sending the teams into a 4-on-4 sequence. Mike Chambers, The Denver Post, "Kyle Connor’s hat trick lifts Winnipeg to 7-4 victory over the Avalanche," 31 Dec. 2019 Only two weeks before, Poggi’s Panthers roughed up the mercenary outfit, IMG Academy, 35-7. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Inside the Baltimore superpower fueling Michigan football's 2020 recruiting class," 17 Dec. 2019 There’s a nice bit of acidity here and the tannins will rough up the roof of your mouth. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "3 new Oregon winemakers command attention, face a bright future," 7 Dec. 2019 When the troops stormed the old, empty Immanuel Baptist Temple church building on Second Street that is owned by the city, Holy Name School next door got a little roughed up by the helicopter rotor wash. USA TODAY, "Tubing, Hemingway, great white sharks: News from around our 50 states," 21 July 2019 Dozens of workers hoping to return to Shenzhen or Beijing to seek more money have been repeatedly intercepted and, on at least one occasion, roughed up by police, petitioners said. Washington Post, "They built a Chinese boomtown. It left them dying of lung disease with nowhere to turn.," 15 Dec. 2019 But a roughing the passer penalty negated the interception, leading to the second 15-yard touchdown pass of the quarter from Chrys Wilson to Angel Martinez four plays later. BostonGlobe.com, "“He’s been doing it all year,” said Ashland coach Andrew MacKay, a 2002 grad of the school. “It felt like it was there all day, but whenever we need these boys, we can count on them for sure.”," 7 Dec. 2019 The Colonels bounced right back, covering 70 yards in about a minute – with help from a roughing the passer penalty and a 45-yard pass from sophomore Logan Landers to senior Jacob Iames – finishing the drive with Marshall’s six-yard run. Mark D. Motz, Cincinnati.com, "Kentucky high school football: Dixie Heights comes back to beat Scott 43-20," 2 Nov. 2019

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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rough.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rough?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=r&file=rough001. Accessed 22 January 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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More from Merriam-Webster on rough

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rough

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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