In the rough

Also found in: Idioms, Wikipedia.
in an unwrought or rude condition; unpolished; as, a diamond or a sketch in the rough.

See also: Rough

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, there are times when the dealer doesn't recognize a diamond in the rough, and makes only an average profit on a gun bought used--when he might be missing out on a substantial windfall.
He was also unhurt when he ended up in the rough at Lodge Corner after his Yamaha engine blew.