rug·ged | \ˈrə-gəd \

Definition of rugged 

1 obsolete : shaggy, hairy

2 : having a rough uneven surface : jagged rugged mountains

3 : turbulent, stormy rugged weather

4a : seamed with wrinkles and furrows : weathered used of a human face

b : showing facial signs of strength rugged good looks

5a : austere, stern

b : coarse, rude

c : rough and strong in character

6a : 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

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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

Winds pushed the flames west into Lake and Napa counties, and authorities significantly increased the area under mandatory evacuations to include a sparsely populated area of rugged terrain from Lake Berryessa to California 89, about 25 miles away. Javier Panzar,, "Northern California fire sparked by faulty electric fence," 12 July 2018 On the edge of the town's rugged mountains, refugee settlements seen from a distance were made up of tents. Bassem Mroue, Fox News, "Hundreds of Syrian refugees in Lebanon cross back into Syria," 28 June 2018 The Snow Leopard Conservancy has grown out of his more than thirty years of experience gained in the rugged mountains. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Saving the snow leopards: Rodney Jackson treks the Himalayas in search of the spotted cat," 6 June 2018 For humans, Southern California’s freeways link distant communities that are otherwise separated by rugged mountains, vast deserts and inland valleys. Joseph Serna,, "Mountain lions are being killed on freeways and weakened by inbreeding. Researchers have a solution," 16 May 2018 Native to the rugged mountains of central China, the pandas have become a symbol of conservation around the world. Maya Wei-haas, Smithsonian, "The Science Behind the Unbearably Cute IMAX Movie “Pandas”," 6 Apr. 2018 Cliven Bundy pledged to continue raising cattle, challenging federal authority over the land where his herd grazes and battling federal protections for the rugged mountains and sandstone surrounding his 160-acre ranch. Maxine Bernstein,, "Rancher Cliven Bundy renews range fight, pledging to 'do whatever it takes'," 10 Jan. 2018 Now at his house in the shadow of rugged Camelback Mountain, Palmer still has time to read a bedtime story to his 6-year-old twins, Fletch and Elle, and to 4-year-old daughter Bries. Peter King,, "A Quarterback and His Game Plan, Part I: Five Days to Learn 171 Plays," 18 Nov. 2015 They were dropped off at Sanford Glacier airstrip on the east side of the Sanford River to begin a six-day trek through an area described by the park service as remote and rugged. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Missouri hikers were on 'trip of a lifetime' in Alaska. Their lives ended there," 5 July 2018

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 1

History and Etymology for rugged

Middle English, from Middle English *rug

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Statistics for rugged

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rugged

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

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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 \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on rugged

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rugged

Spanish Central: Translation of rugged

Nglish: Translation of rugged for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rugged for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rugged

What made you want to look up rugged? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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