American English

Definition of rough adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (rougher, roughest)
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    not smooth
  1. 1having a surface that is not even or regular rough ground The skin on her hands was hard and rough. Trim rough edges with a sharp knife. opposite smooth
  2. not exact
  3. 2not exact; not including all details synonym approximate a rough calculation/estimate of the cost I've got a rough idea of where I want to go. There were about 20 people there,at a rough guess. a rough draft of a speech a rough sketch
  4. violent
  5. 3not gentle or careful; violent This watch is not designed for rough treatment. They complained of rough handling by the guards. rough kids Don't try any rough stuff with me!
  6. 4where there is a lot of violence or crime the roughest neighborhood in the city
  7. sea
  8. 5having large and dangerous waves It was too rough to sail that night. We had a rough passage across to the island.
  9. weather
  10. 6wild and with storms
  11. difficult
  12. 7difficult and unpleasant synonym tough He's had a really rough time recently (= he's had a lot of problems). We'll get someone in to do the rough work (= the hard physical work).
  13. plain/basic
  14. 8simply made and not finished in every detail; plain or basic rough wooden tables a rough track
  15. not smooth
  16. 9not smooth or pleasant to taste, listen to, etc. a rough wine/voice
    noun [uncountable] see also roughly
  18. Idioms
    have a rough/an easy ride, give somebody a rough/an easy ride (informal)
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    to experience/not experience difficulties when you are doing something; to make things difficult/easy for someone He's going to have a rough ride at the board meeting next week.
    rough around the edges
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    having parts or qualities that are not yet as good as they should be She's a little rough around the edges, but she's a great neighbor.
    a rough deal
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    the fact of being treated unfairly
    rough edges
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    small parts of something or of a person's character that are not yet as good as they should be The ballet still had some rough edges. He had a few rough edges knocked off at school.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: rough