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

The highly visible effects of these policies, from a proliferation of food banks to a rise in rough sleeping, have convinced many people that Mr Osborne went too far. The Economist, "British attitudes to welfare have undergone a quiet revolution," 11 July 2019 Although the tank can be reached by way of a rough dirt road, a better option for hikers is to park along the main artery access road and walk 1.4 miles to the trailhead. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Fun summer hikes in Arizona: These hidden little lakes attract wildlife, hikers and anglers," 5 July 2019 In particular, the gravel market is driving the resurgence of metal, because titanium and steel can help mitigate rough roads and don’t necessarily weigh more than carbon fiber. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "What We Learned From Our 2019 Bike Test," 25 June 2019 If contemporary Broadway musicals are any indicator, the rough and tumble British working class are among the most socially progressive, especially when depressed economies threaten industrial regions. nola.com, "‘Kinky Boots’ kicks up its musical heels at the Saenger," 15 June 2019 Baier added Biden, however, has a rougher road to travel when criticizing the president on the economy. Fox News, "Bret Baier: Joe Biden's Trump focus shows he's trying to be Dem 'nominee-in-waiting'," 12 June 2019 But if the fairways get pinched in a little more and the rough grows a little higher and the greens run a tad faster, there should still be decent scores. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Here's what the Rocket Mortgage Classic got right — and what it got wrong," 30 June 2019 Green, meanwhile, was often scrambling each hole but continued to find greens from the rough. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Australian Hannah Green could be next in line of Hazeltine’s shocking major champions," 22 June 2019 But perhaps if there is a diamond-in-the-rough case following any player in the 2019 class, then Cheatham has a strong case for not only living it, but enduring it to this point. Kaelen Jones, SI.com, "Zylan Cheatham Is the NBA Draft's Hidden Gem," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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

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 At 18, Piercy drove into the right rough and lashed a rescue-club shot that rolled into the left fairway bunker. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Wild with irons, Woods battles to 70 in starting U.S. Open at Pebble Beach," 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 Thankfully there is one gem in the intergalactic rough, a character that deserves his own spinoff. Scott Craven, azcentral, "'Men in Black: International' is meh, but give us more Pawny, the wisecracking alien," 12 June 2019 The thick rye rough — which Woods hasn’t played out of in 12 months — didn’t cause many problems. Steve Dimeglio, USA TODAY, "Tiger Woods seven back after a 72, but says 'It was fun to compete again'," 25 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With the bullpen getting roughed up for eight runs in five innings in a 10-7, 10-inning loss to San Francisco on Friday night, the Brewers wanted a fresh arm and chose Jackson, who was pitching well for the Missions. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers go back to eight relievers by optioning infielder Mauricio Dubon, calling up Jay Jackson," 13 July 2019 In previous eras, royalty would set up lavish campsites for celebrations, and, of course, many of the African safaris popular in the 1920s were hardly roughing it. Terri Colby, chicagotribune.com, "New glamping spot in Michigan brings luxury to a blueberry farm," 11 July 2019 That was Coventry junior Matt Cook’s pitching line in last year’s Class S state championship game - a defeat to Notre Dame-Fairfield in which Cook, then a sophomore, was roughed up early and took the loss. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "Class S baseball: Matt Cook’s complete game shutout leads Coventry past Shepaug Valley 3-0," 8 June 2019 Harvey started for Salt Lake and was roughed up for eight hits and eight runs in 2 2/3 innings. Maria Torres, latimes.com, "Jose Suarez will make another spot start for Angels against Mariners," 8 June 2019 Two American television reporters were roughed up and detained for a day. Washington Post, "AP Was There: Journalists covering violence beaten, detained," 5 June 2019 In fact, the four celebrities weren’t exactly roughing it. Jeff Guinn, WSJ, "The Invention of the Summer Road Trip," 29 June 2019 No country is better at roughing it luxuriously than Norway. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "End your hike in style at this gorgeous pentagonal cabin," 27 June 2019 But in Brown’s defense, Ertz roughed up a lot of linebackers and safeties last season on his way to an NFL-record 116 receptions. Paul Domowitch, https://www.inquirer.com, "Linebacker Zach Brown on difference between Eagles and Redskins: ‘This place is night and day compared to there'," 4 June 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

18 Jul 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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