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 The remains were found in the rugged terrain of the open desert of Yucca Valley. Claire Colbert, CNN, 11 Oct. 2021 The fire burned in rugged terrain, and a sudden change in weather made our trek through the Tule River Reservation to the fire line unsafe. Los Angeles Times, 1 Oct. 2021 Because wildfires are often in rugged terrain, using drones for the job lets firefighters react more quickly while minimizing the risk of injury. Kevin T. Dugan, Fortune, 30 Sep. 2021 Though the rooms are certainly sublime, guests are encouraged to leave them from time to time to meander through the property's gardens and courtyards, all landscaped to mimic the rugged terrain of the Sonoran Desert. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 20 Sep. 2021 Sparked by lightning on Sept. 9, the KNP Complex fire is still 0% contained under red-flag conditions, consuming at least 23,700 acres so far, much of it in unreachable, rugged terrain. Francine Kiefer, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Sep. 2021 In addition to the original training sites, the research team tested the new technology on rugged terrain at Crater Lake National Park and the Painted Hills at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Kyle Spurr, oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2021 As many as 50 people joined the search in rugged terrain after her vehicle was found parked atop Logan Pass, officials said. CBS News, 7 Sep. 2021 As many as 50 personnel searched the rugged terrain of Glacier after park officials found Coleman’s vehicle in the Logan Pass parking lot on Wednesday afternoon, the NPS said. Fox News, 6 Sep. 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

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rugged.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for rugged



English Language Learners Definition of rugged

: having a rough, uneven surface
: 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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