American English

Definition of rock verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they rock
    he / she / it rocks
    past simple rocked
    -ing form rocking
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    move gently
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to move gently backward and forward or from side to side; to make someone or something move in this way (+ adv./prep.) The boat rocked from side to side in the waves. She was rocking backward and forward in her seat. rock somebody/something (+ adv./prep.) He rocked the baby gently in his arms.
  2. shock
  3. 2[transitive, often passive] rock somebody/something to shock someone or something very much or make them afraid The country was rocked by a series of political scandals. The news rocked the world.
  4. shake
  5. 3[intransitive, transitive] to shake or to make something shake violently The house rocked when the bomb exploded. rock something The town was rocked by an earthquake. (figurative) The scandal rocked the government (= made the situation difficult for it).
  6. dance
  7. 4[intransitive] (old-fashioned) to dance to rock music
  8. be good
  9. 5something rocks [intransitive] (slang) used to say that something is very good Her new movie rocks!
  10. Idioms
    rock the boat (informal)
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    to do something that upsets a situation and causes problems She was told to keep her mouth shut and not rock the boat.
    shake/rock the foundations of something, shake/rock something to its foundations
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    to cause people to question their basic beliefs about something This issue has shaken the foundations of Louisiana politics.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: rock