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

Tia’s dream job of captaining a dining cruise hits rough water when her ex is hired as the restaurant’s chef. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 The sensors, each tuned to a different class of odiferous chemical, are simple too, generating imprecise, rough and ready signals. The Economist, "How to build a disposable microchip," 12 Sep. 2019 Just hit some rough waters and the back wheel got a little squirrely, no biggie. Rasputin Todd, Cincinnati.com, "The first time I raced motorcycles, a breath at a time," 5 Sep. 2019 The tariffs — along with the uncertainty created by the trade war — are obviously one reason that there are warning signs of rough economic waters ahead, including major downward revisions to recent job-creation estimates. The Editors, National Review, "Out of Order," 23 Aug. 2019 Yet other measures of company earnings also point to rough waters ahead. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Fading corporate profits heighten U.S. recession fears," 22 Aug. 2019 The private sector seems to be concerned about particularly the trade war with China, that there are some rough waters ahead, maybe a recession, that those odds have risen. NBC News, "Aug. 18, 2019 - Larry Kudlow, Beto O'Rourke and Mark Sanford," 18 Aug. 2019 The swim portion of event had been in doubt earlier in the week because of concerns about water quality following a sewage overflow Tuesday and rough-water conditions Friday canceled a 750-meter swim event. cleveland.com, "2019 USA Triathlon Age Group Championships: Justin Lippert repeats, Rachel Mensch wins (photos)," 10 Aug. 2019 Authorities say pilot Engjell Berisha encountered rough waters during takeoff from Tutka Bay less than 300 miles (483 kilometers) south of Anchorage. baltimoresun.com, "Ocean swells might have affected fatal Alaska floatplane that crashed, killing Annapolis tech executive," 24 July 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

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 Jutanugarn followed with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole to make the margin two shots, and then Green missed her tee shot to the right into the rough on 18, hit onto the front of the green and three-putted for bogey from long range. BostonGlobe.com, "Chez Reavie surges past sputtering Zach Sucher, leads Travelers," 23 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On Monday, he was twice called for roughing-the-passer. Scott Patsko, cleveland.com, "Myles Garrett brings the good and the bad: Winners and Losers from Week 2," 17 Sep. 2019 The main character, Dex Parios (played in the TV show by Cobie Smulders), is a private investigator with a dramatic past and messy personal life, who braves getting roughed up and tangling with bad guys to solve cases. oregonlive, "Greg Rucka on his ‘Stumptown’ comics becoming a TV show, which previews Saturday at Rose City Comic Con," 14 Sep. 2019 In the first overtime, Fresno State’s Reyna threw incomplete on third and goal from the 10, but linebacker Braelen Oliver was called for roughing the passer. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Antoine Winfield deja vu: This time, Gophers top Fresno State 38-35 in 2 OT thriller," 8 Sep. 2019 Or consider the many stories that black and brown residents, including cops, have shared for decades of police coming into their neighborhoods and roughing up people with little to no justification. German Lopez, Vox, "The latest protests against the Chicago police are about more than one shooting," 20 July 2018 Garrett finished with three sacks but also two roughing-the-passer penalties, one offsides penalty and one quarterback knocked out of the game. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com, "Browns overpower Jets, 23-3, as Odell Beckham and Myles Garrett get revenge on Gregg Williams," 17 Sep. 2019 Siemian appeared to roll his left ankle as Garrett, who had three of the team’s four sacks, was penalized for roughing the passer, sent him to the turf. BostonGlobe.com, "Odell Beckham on what it meant to return to MetLife," 17 Sep. 2019 Siemian appeared to roll his left ankle as Garrett, who was penalized for roughing the passer, sent him to the turf. oregonlive, "Odell Beckham, Jr. powers the Cleveland Browns to the win over the New York Jets: Recap, score, stats and more," 16 Sep. 2019 Austin appeared primed to answer, with the help of a roughing the passer penalty on a first-down catch by Keelian Bryant, then a pass interference call on third down and 20. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Elias Cruz's kick lifts Mayde Creek over Fort Bend Austin," 7 Sep. 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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Statistics for rough

Last Updated

10 Oct 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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