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adj. rough·er, rough·est
a. Having a surface marked by irregularities, protuberances, or ridges; not smooth: planed the board so it was no longer rough.
b. Coarse or shaggy to the touch: a rough scratchy blanket.
a. Difficult to travel over or through: the rough terrain of the highlands.
b. Characterized by violent motion; turbulent: rough waters.
c. Difficult to endure or live through, especially because of harsh or inclement weather: a rough winter.
d. Unpleasant or difficult: had a rough time during the exam.
a. Characterized by or done with violence or forcefulness: a sport noted for rough play; a package that received rough handling.
b. Boisterous, disorderly, or given to violence: ran with a rough crowd.
c. Characterized by violence or crime: lives in a rough neighborhood.
d. Lacking polish or finesse: rough manners.
4. Harsh to the ear: a rough raspy sound.
5. Being in a natural state: rough diamonds.
6. Not perfected, completed, or fully detailed: a rough drawing; rough carpentry.
1. The surface or part of something that is uneven or coarse: felt the rough of his chin.
a. Rugged overgrown terrain.
b. 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.
a. A disorderly, unrefined, or unfinished state.
b. A difficult or disagreeable aspect or condition of something: observed politics in the rough when working as an intern on Capitol Hill.
4. A person given to violent or disorderly behavior; a rowdy.
tr.v. roughed, rough·ing, roughs
a. To treat roughly or with physical violence: roughed up his opponent.
b. Sports To treat (an opposing player) with unnecessary roughness, often in violation of the rules: was ejected from the game for roughing the passer.
2. To prepare or indicate in an unfinished form: rough out a house plan.
In a rough manner; roughly: The engine began to run rough and faltered.
rough it
To live without the usual comforts and conveniences: roughed it in a small hunting shack.

[Middle English, from Old English rūh.]

rough′er n.
rough′ly adv.
rough′ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Textiles) weaving a piece of cloth from the loom
2. (Tools) a studded board used for heckling flax
3. (Textiles) a studded board used for heckling flax
4. informal another name for roughrider
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
Captain said he'd hardly seen it rougher. Where are you from?"
The land was growing rougher; I was told that we were approaching Squaw Creek, which cut up the west half of the Shimerdas' place and made the land of little value for farming.
A post-nuptial explanation, which might be accepted with a light heart by a rougher man, might not be received with the same feeling by him.
"Bless your heart, they all know the doctor, I've been in some damned sight rougher places than Waver Street."
The country now was becoming rougher and more open.
He even dared to tell himself that those things which rendered him chiefly unfit for her, the acquired vulgarities of his rougher life, were things which he could put away; that a time would come when he would take his place confidently in her world, and that the end would be success.
But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he."
of the rough fare and rougher usage, where kicks and blows were bed and breakfast and took the place of speech, and fear and hatred and pain were my only soul-experiences?
Bounderby thinks as father thinks, and is a great deal rougher, and not half so kind.'
God has given us, in a measure, the power to make our own fate; and when our energies seem to demand a sustenance they cannot get--when our will strains after a path we may not follow--we need neither starve from inanition, nor stand still in despair: we have but to seek another nourishment for the mind, as strong as the forbidden food it longed to taste--and perhaps purer; and to hew out for the adventurous foot a road as direct and broad as the one Fortune has blocked up against us, if rougher than it.
As they advanced the ground became rougher and hillier, for there were no farms nor houses in this country of the West, and the ground was untilled.
Sir Henry and I contented ourselves with rougher arrangements, and soon were curled up in our blankets, and dropping off into the dreamless sleep that rewards the traveller.