rough·​house | \ ˈrəf-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce roughhouse (audio) \

Definition of roughhouse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: violence or rough boisterous play


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

Definition of roughhouse (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to treat in a boisterously rough manner

intransitive verb

: to engage in roughhouse

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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 Chewy orecchiette roughhouse with big hunks of sausage and broccolini, enrobed in a rich goat cheese fonduta. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Fellow Osteria in Scottsdale is too interesting to ignore but too inconsistent to embrace," 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,, "‘The Rider’: What cinema is capable of at its best," 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, "Floyd Mayweather is money, and this should be easy money," 24 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There are shots of children at play, on the beach, on a farm, or roughhousing in a schoolyard but the incidents related are like those from a nightmare or fairy tale. Peter Keough,, "Doc Talk: A mother’s tale, a choral tour, a Patrick Swayze bio," 21 Aug. 2019 Tilting down accomplished the opposite motion, and Max was quick to start roughhousing with his father, Dr. Ted Ng, landing a few light punches before reaching up and grabbing his dad’s nose. San Diego Union-Tribune, "UCSD students restore motion to five-year-old boy’s arms," 15 June 2019 Until then, my daughter has plenty to occupy her: playing basketball, reading, drawing comics, roughhousing with her siblings. Washington Post, "It’s 2019. Why are sports-themed toys still so boy-centric?," 8 June 2019 The New Jersey in him seemed ready to continue roughhousing. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows," 27 June 2018 Nutmeg, a 4-year-old mother red panda, and her cub, 6-month-old Jackie, can be seen in the video playfully swatting and roughhousing with each other. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "Mama and baby red panda make debut at National Zoo," 26 Jan. 2018 But that defeat–to a tough, plodding, roughhousing opponent who came in overweight and utilized what could fairly be described as questionable tactics–only underscored the importance of Lomachenko’s footwork. Greg Bishop,, "Vasiliy Lomachenko's Rise to Boxing's Upper Echelon Began in Dance Classes Growing Up in Ukraine," 9 May 2018 The roughhousing ranges from Lopez putting wrestling holds on opposing mascots to battling them with Star Wars light sabers or even hitting them on the head with poster boards. David Blank, CNN, "Why does the NBA's Robin Lopez keep fighting with team mascots?," 12 Apr. 2018 At first, everything’s lovingly quirky — Bear smoking his pipe in the cramped studio, roughhousing with Pinch; Natalie neglecting her pottery to accommodate Bear’s manic fits of creativity. Don Oldenburg, USA TODAY, "'The Italian Teacher': Tom Rachman's portrait of an artist and his son is picture-perfect," 20 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'roughhouse.' 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 roughhouse


1882, in the meaning defined above


1898, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for roughhouse

Time Traveler for roughhouse

The first known use of roughhouse was in 1882

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More Definitions for roughhouse


How to pronounce roughhouse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of roughhouse

US, informal : to play in a rough and noisy way

More from Merriam-Webster on roughhouse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for roughhouse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with roughhouse

Nglish: Translation of roughhouse for Spanish Speakers

Comments on roughhouse

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to spread as a report or rumor

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