from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To move back and forth or from side to side, especially gently or rhythmically.
  • intransitive verb To sway violently, as from a blow or shock. synonym: swing.
  • intransitive verb To be washed and panned in a cradle or in a rocker. Used of ores.
  • intransitive verb Music To play or dance to rock music.
  • intransitive verb Slang To be excellent or outstanding. Used in exclamations of approval.
  • intransitive verb To move (a child, for example) back and forth or from side to side, especially in order to soothe or lull to sleep.
  • intransitive verb To cause to shake or sway violently. synonym: agitate.
  • intransitive verb To disturb the mental or emotional equilibrium of; upset.
  • intransitive verb To excite or cause strong feeling in, as by playing rock music.
  • intransitive verb To wash or pan (ore) in a cradle or rocker.
  • intransitive verb In mezzotint engraving, to roughen (a metal plate) with a rocker or roulette.
  • noun A rocking motion.
  • noun The act of rocking.
  • noun Music A form of popular music characterized by electronically amplified instrumentation, a heavily accented beat, and relatively simple phrase structure. Originating in the United States in the 1950s, rock incorporates a variety of musical styles, especially rhythm and blues, country music, and gospel.
  • idiom (rock the boat) To disturb the balance or routine of a situation.
  • noun Relatively hard, naturally formed mineral or petrified matter; stone.
  • noun A relatively small piece or fragment of such material.
  • noun A relatively large body of such material, as a cliff or peak.
  • noun A naturally formed aggregate of mineral matter constituting a significant part of the earth's crust.
  • noun One that is similar to or suggestive of a mass of stone in stability, firmness, or dependability.
  • noun Slang Money.
  • noun Slang A large gem, especially a diamond.
  • noun Slang Crack cocaine.
  • noun A varicolored stick candy.
  • noun Rock candy.
  • idiom (between a rock and a hard place) Confronted with equally unpleasant alternatives and few or no opportunities to evade or circumvent them.
  • idiom (on the rocks) In a state of difficulty, destruction, or ruin.
  • idiom (on the rocks) Without money; bankrupt.
  • idiom (on the rocks) Served over ice cubes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To throw stones at; stone.
  • noun A distaff used in hand-spinning; the staff or frame about which the flax or wool is arranged from which the thread is drawn in spinning.
  • noun A young hedgehog.
  • noun See roc.
  • noun The mass of mineral matter of which the earth, so far as accessible to observation, is made up; a mass, fragment, or piece of that crust, if too large to be designated as a stone, and if spoken of in a general way without special designation of its nature.
  • noun A stone of any size, even a pebble.
  • noun A mass of stone forming an eminence or a cliff.
  • noun Hence, in Scripture, figuratively, foundation; strength; asylum; means of safety; defense.
  • noun A cause or source of peril or disaster: from the wrecking of vessels on rocks: as, this was the rock on which he split.
  • noun A kind of hard sweetmeat, variously flavored.
  • noun Same as rockfish, 1 .
  • noun The rock-dove, Calumba livia, more fully called blue-rock.
  • noun A kind of soap. See the quotation.
  • noun A piece of money: commonly in the plural: as, a pocketful of rocks.
  • noun A very hard kind of cheese, made from skimmed milk, used in Hampshire, England.
  • noun Synonyms It is an error to use rock for a stone so small that a man can handle it: only a fabulous person or a demi-god can lift a rock.
  • To move backward and forward, as a body supported below (especially on a single point, a narrow line, or a curved base); cause to sway upon a support: as, to rock a cradle; to rock a chair; sometimes, to cause to reel or totter.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English rokken, from Old English roccian.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old North French roque, from Vulgar Latin *rocca.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle Dutch rocke (whence Dutch rok), Middle Low German rocken, or Old Norse rokkr (whence Icelandic / Faroese rokkur, Danish rok, Swedish spinnrock ("spinning wheel")). Cognate with Old High German rocko ("distaff").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Shortened from rock and roll. Since the meaning of rock has adapted to mean a simpler, more modern, metal-like genre, rock and roll has generally been left referring to earlier forms such as that of the 1950s, notably more swing-oriented style.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English rocke, rokke ("rock formation"), from Old English *rocc (“rock”), as in Old English stānrocc ("high stone rock, peak, obelisk"), and also later from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French roc, roce, roque (compare Modern French roche, from Old French), from Medieval Latin rocca (attested 767), from Vulgar Latin *rocca, of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be of Celtic origin (compare Breton roch).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English rokken, from Old English roccian, from Proto-Germanic *rukkōnan (compare obsolete Dutch (Holland) rokken, Middle High German rocken ‘to drag, jerk’, Icelandic rukka ‘to yank’), from *rugnōnan, from Proto-Indo-European *h₃ruk-néh₂-, from *h₃runk- (compare Latin runcāre ("to weed"), Latvian rũķēt ("to toss, dig")).


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