roughhouse

1 of 2

noun

rough·​house ˈrəf-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce roughhouse (audio)
: violence or rough boisterous play

roughhouse

2 of 2

verb

rough·​house ˈrəf-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce roughhouse (audio)
-ˌhau̇z
roughhoused; roughhousing

transitive verb

: to treat in a boisterously rough manner

intransitive verb

: to engage in roughhouse

Examples of roughhouse in a Sentence

Noun their parents simply wouldn't tolerate any roughhouse in the living room Verb The kids were roughhousing in the living room.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This makes the roughhouse ballet a satisfying bridge to the final scene in Roberta’s room, where their vulnerabilities are revealed. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2023 Weighing between eight and 10 pounds, these pooches are not ideal for young kids who tend to roughhouse. Country Living, 1 May 2023 Geno lost his composure at the end of the game, picked up a T, then critiqued South Carolina’s roughhouse style. Dan Shaughnessy, BostonGlobe.com, 10 Feb. 2023 Brazil’s team, a double defending champion, had been eliminated in the group stage in the 1966 championship in England, with Pelé literally kicked out of the tournament by the roughhouse play of Brazil’s opponents. Tariq Panja, New York Times, 29 Dec. 2022 Phil bitterly watches from a distance while his fellow cowhands roughhouse, bathe together and chase prostitutes at a local saloon. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 2 Dec. 2021 Chewy orecchiette roughhouse with big hunks of sausage and broccolini, enrobed in a rich goat cheese fonduta. Dominic Armato, azcentral, 16 July 2019 In one such glimpse of sublimity, a group of young Native American rodeo riders drink beer, roughhouse, and sing songs in the immensity of the Badlands surrounding the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, in South Dakota. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Apr. 2018 There’s also a chance McGregor flusters him with the same kind of roughhouse tactics that worked for Marcos Maidana in their first fight. Tim Dahlberg, The Seattle Times, 24 Aug. 2017
Verb
Her powers of observation miss nothing: roughhousing children, bickering adults, pets scampering underfoot. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2024 Raised on her family’s farm in conservative Nebraska in the 1960s and ’70s, Ashley Swartz took her cues about life from her surroundings: At home, the men worked the farm; elsewhere, boys roughhoused and participated in sports; at church, there was good and there was evil. Sandy West, NBC News, 7 Oct. 2023 In another, my son roughhoused with friends and Buddy attacked. Michelle Madden, Los Angeles Times, 20 June 2023 There have been some funny notes for missing class dreamed up by parents and students through the years: doctor’s appointments for thumb injuries from playing video games, dentist appointments for broken teeth from roughhousing with siblings. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 29 May 2023 Read Next: Florida Man Survives Intense Shark Attack While Spearfishing 70 Feet Below the Surface Other scientists say the incidents may just be a cetacean form of teenage kicks: a fad that roughhousing adolescent orcas have picked up from each other. Steven Hill, Field & Stream, 25 May 2023 Even with kids jumping and roughhousing on it, the sofa and cushions stayed in great shape and held up well to ordinary wear and tear. Laura Denby, Peoplemag, 11 May 2023 Even with kids jumping and roughhousing on it, this couch looks great. Laura Denby, Peoplemag, 11 May 2023 Tavi’s daily schedule includes lessons in how to roughhouse with toys but not people, running exercises, learning to wear a harness, walk on a leash and sit on command and other tasks needed for education programs where the public can look but not touch the cheetahs. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Nov. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'roughhouse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

1882, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1898, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of roughhouse was in 1882

Dictionary Entries Near roughhouse

Cite this Entry

“Roughhouse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/roughhouse. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

roughhouse

1 of 2 noun
rough·​house ˈrəf-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce roughhouse (audio)
: violence or rough noisy play

roughhouse

2 of 2 verb
rough·​house -ˌhau̇s How to pronounce roughhouse (audio)
-ˌhau̇z
roughhoused; roughhousing
: to take part in roughhouse

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