roughneck

noun
rough·neck | \ˈrəf-ˌnek \

Definition of roughneck 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a rough or uncouth person

b : rowdy, tough

2 : a worker of an oil-well-drilling crew other than the driller

roughneck

adjective

Definition of roughneck (Entry 2 of 2)

: having the characteristics of or suitable for a roughneck

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Examples of roughneck in a Sentence

Noun

a town overrun by roughnecks a group of roughnecks like to hang out at the roadhouse and harass people

Adjective

their roughneck antics were amusing only if you were as drunk as they were
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Three years later, the hill and 2 square miles of the surrounding plains incorporated as the city of Signal Hill, a settlement of roughnecks and wildcatters, an oil boomtown during the time when California produced a quarter of the world’s oil. Scott Garner, latimes.com, "Neighborhood Spotlight: Signal Hill keeps progress in view without blocking out its oil town past," 22 June 2018 There are fewer roughnecks, as my old landlord had warned, to trash the place. Longreads, "Life on the Oil Frontier," 23 Apr. 2018 Later, Dollens worked as a roughneck in the oil fields. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, "The Teachers’ Strike and the Democratic Revival in Oklahoma," 4 June 2017 Somebody’s oil worker boyfriend might trash the place; indeed, the last round of roughnecks already have. Longreads, "Life on the Oil Frontier," 23 Apr. 2018 Until recently, the energy industry was mostly associated with roughnecks, gushing greasy dirty oil, and centralized electricity distribution systems. Tsvetana Paraskova, USA TODAY, "Blockchain technology is contributing to big digital disruption in energy sector," 16 Oct. 2017 When the reverend's rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren's reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland.com, "Dancing musical will benefit Broadview Heights Human Services programs: Talk of the Towns," 13 Oct. 2017 Pruett said Elevation Resources recently had a fracking job that was supposed to take seven days but lasted nine because unschooled roughnecks caused some equipment malfunctions. Dan Murtaugh, Bloomberg.com, "In World’s Hottest Oil Patch, Jitters Mount That a Bust Is Near," 25 Sep. 2017 Young Texans can no longer get by as oil-field roughnecks and farmhands, many here say, and schools must start to train them for jobs in newer technological industries. Maggie Astor, New York Times, "Mark White, Texas Governor Who Championed Public Education, Dies at 77," 6 Aug. 2017

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

Noun

1834, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1906, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for roughneck

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Time Traveler for roughneck

The first known use of roughneck was in 1834

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More Definitions for roughneck

roughneck

noun

English Language Learners Definition of roughneck

: someone who behaves in a rough, rude, or aggressive way

: someone who works on an oil rig or at an oil well

roughneck

noun
rough·neck | \ˈrəf-ˌnek \

Kids Definition of roughneck

: a rough aggressive person

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Comments on roughneck

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