Definitions

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

  • adjective Having a surface marked by irregularities, protuberances, or ridges; not smooth.
  • adjective Coarse or shaggy to the touch.
  • adjective Difficult to travel over or through.
  • adjective Characterized by violent motion; turbulent.
  • adjective Difficult to endure or live through, especially because of harsh or inclement weather.
  • adjective Unpleasant or difficult.
  • adjective Characterized by or done with violence or forcefulness.
  • adjective Boisterous, disorderly, or given to violence.
  • adjective Characterized by violence or crime.
  • adjective Lacking polish or finesse.
  • adjective Harsh to the ear.
  • adjective Being in a natural state.
  • adjective Not perfected, completed, or fully detailed.
  • noun The surface or part of something that is uneven or coarse.
  • noun Rugged overgrown terrain.
  • noun Sports The area of a golf hole in which the grass is left unmowed or is cut to a length longer than that of the fairway.
  • noun A disorderly, unrefined, or unfinished state.
  • noun A difficult or disagreeable aspect or condition of something.
  • noun A person given to violent or disorderly behavior; a rowdy.
  • transitive verb To treat roughly or with physical violence.
  • transitive verb Sports To treat (an opposing player) with unnecessary roughness, often in violation of the rules.
  • transitive verb To prepare or indicate in an unfinished form.
  • adverb In a rough manner; roughly.
  • idiom (rough it) To live without the usual comforts and conveniences.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make rough; give a rough condition or appearance to; roughen: as, to rough a horse's shoes to prevent slipping.
  • To execute or shape out roughly; finish partially or in the rough; prepare for a finishing operation: as, to rough out building-stones.
  • To break in a horse, especially for military use.
  • To behave roughly; specifically, to break the rules in boxing by too much roughness.
  • noun A rowdy; a ruffian; a rude, coarse fellow; one given to riotous violence; a bully.
  • noun [In a foot-note Scaramelli is quoted to the effect that the word signifies in English “persona bassa e vile.”]
  • A bad spelling of ruff.
  • In hat-manuf., to compact (the felt) by moisture, heat, and pressure.
  • To expose to winter weather, as cattle; permit to run at large during the winter.
  • Roughly; in a coarse, crude, or harsh manner.
  • Not smooth to the touch or to the sight; uneven, from projections, ridges, wrinkles, or the like; broken in outline or continuity by protruding points or lines, irregularities, or obstructions; shaggy: as, a rough surface of any kind; rough land; a rough road; rough cloth.
  • Not smoothed or formed by art; existing or left in a natural or an incomplete state; crude; unwrought; uneven; untrimmed: as, the rough materials of manufacture.
  • Rugged in form, outline, or appearance; harsh or unpleasing to the eye; irregular.
  • Crudely done or considered; indefinitely approximate; vague; partial; careless; hasty: as, to make a rough estimate or calculation; at a rough guess.
  • Characterized by harshness or asperity; disagreeably severe or coarse; discordant: used of things and actions with reference to their effects upon the senses or feelings, actions, sounds, etc.: as, rough weather; a rough remedy; rough treatment.
  • Lacking refinement; rude in character or action; unpolished; untrained; uncouth; awkward: as, rough kindness or attendance; a rough backwoodsman.
  • Characterized by violent or disorderly action or movement; rudely agitated or disturbed; boisterously violent; unrestrained: as, rough water; rough play.
  • Coarse; stale: as, rough bread; rough fish.
  • Astringent: said of wines or other beverages: as, a rough claret.
  • In botany, same as scabrous.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English rūh.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English rūh, from Proto-Germanic *rūhaz, cognate with West Frisian rûch ("rough"), Low Saxon (Low German) ruuch ("rough"), High German rau ("rough"), (old spelling) rauh ("rough"), Middle High German rûch ("rough"), (variants) rûhe, rûh, rouch.

Examples

Comments

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  • "A burly rough pursues with booted strides. He stumbles on the steps, recovers, plunges into gloom. "

    Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    January 28, 2007

  • How can a word so similar to dough, though etc. be pronounced the way it is pronounced?

    August 22, 2008

  • That's English fer ya. ;-)

    August 22, 2008

  • Enough! Don't even bring bough into it.

    August 22, 2008

  • Yeah, it's tough.

    August 22, 2008