ru·​gose ˈrü-ˌgōs How to pronounce rugose (audio)
: full of wrinkles
rugose cheeks
: having the veinlets sunken and the spaces between elevated
rugose leaves of the sage
rugosity noun

Did you know?

Rugose was borrowed into English in the late 17th century from the Latin adjective rugosus ("wrinkled"), which itself derives from "ruga" ("wrinkle"). One descendant of "ruga" that you'll probably recognize is "corrugate," which initially meant "to form or shape into wrinkles or folds." Another, which might be more familiar to scientists, is rugulose, meaning "finely wrinkled." In addition, there is the noun "rugosity," which can refer to either the quality or state of being full of wrinkles or an individual wrinkled place.

Examples of rugose in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tomato brown rugose fruit virus was spreading, and unidentified diseases were afflicting onions and cabbages in Uganda, which was on the verge of being overrun by banana bunchy top virus. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 21 Oct. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rugose.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin rugosus, from ruga

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rugose was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near rugose

Cite this Entry

“Rugose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


ru·​gose ˈrü-ˌgōs How to pronounce rugose (audio)
: having many wrinkles
rugose skin
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