rug·​ged | \ ˈrə-gəd How to pronounce rugged (audio) \

Definition of rugged

1 : having a rough uneven surface : jagged rugged mountains
2a : seamed with wrinkles and furrows : weathered used of a human face
b : showing facial signs of strength rugged good looks
3a : presenting a severe test of ability, stamina, or resolution
b : strongly built or constituted : robust those that survive are stalwart, rugged men— L. D. Stamp
4a : rough and strong in character
b : coarse, rude
c : austere, stern
5 : turbulent, stormy rugged weather
6 obsolete : shaggy, hairy

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Other Words from rugged

ruggedly adverb
ruggedness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for rugged

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

Examples of rugged in a Sentence

the rugged surface of the moon She did a painting of the region's rugged coastline. People are attracted to his rugged good looks. I admire her rugged individualism.
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Recent Examples on the Web People frequently become stranded there, and helicopter rescues are often the only way to get them off the rugged terrain, Bachman said. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 21 July 2021 Investigators spent countless hours hiking rugged terrain to determine the cause, interviewed numerous leads, and eliminated multiple potential causes. Brisa Colon, CNN, 16 July 2021 But a broad coalition of Alaska Native leaders, environmentalists, commercial fishing operators, anglers and tourism companies have argued that protecting Southeast Alaska’s rugged terrain represents the best way forward. Juliet Eilperin, Anchorage Daily News, 15 July 2021 Both the Salt Fire and the Lava Fire are burning in rugged rural terrain north of Redding in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 July 2021 While the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park opened in 2016, the hike through rugged terrain isn’t the most accessible location for all visitors. Monica D. Spencer, The Arizona Republic, 30 June 2021 With the help of dozens of agencies from Tennessee and neighboring states, rescue teams have searched 4.6 square miles of rugged terrain. Harriet Sokmensuer,, 23 June 2021 Their sturdy workmanship was required in rugged terrain and the artistry was meant to convey the powerful permanence of these new arrivals who had come to stay. Nafeesah Allen, House Beautiful, 15 June 2021 Portages that the Ojibwe of the time made through the swamps and rugged terrain of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area en route to Lake Superior gave rise to the Gunflint Trail, said Bonnie Schudy with the Chik-Wauk Museum in Grand Marais. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, 11 June 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6

History and Etymology for rugged

Middle English, from Middle English *rug

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Time Traveler for rugged

Time Traveler

The first known use of rugged was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near rugged



rugged individualism

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Statistics for rugged

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rugged.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for rugged



English Language Learners Definition of rugged

: having a rough, uneven surface
of a man's face : having rough but attractive features
: strong and determined


rug·​ged | \ ˈrə-gəd How to pronounce rugged (audio) \

Kids Definition of rugged

1 : having a rough uneven surface rugged hills
2 : strong sense 3, tough rugged pioneers
3 : involving hardship rugged training

Other Words from rugged

ruggedly adverb
ruggedness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on rugged

Nglish: Translation of rugged for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rugged for Arabic Speakers


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