Definition of rock verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//rɒk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɑːk//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they rock
    BrE BrE//rɒk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɑːk//
    he / she / it rocks
    BrE BrE//rɒks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɑːks//
    past simple rocked
    BrE BrE//rɒkt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɑːkt//
    past participle rocked
    BrE BrE//rɒkt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//rɑːkt//
    -ing form rocking
    BrE BrE//ˈrɒkɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrɑːkɪŋ//
    jump to other results
    move gently
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to move gently backwards and forwards or from side to side; to make somebody/something move in this way (+ adv./prep.) The boat rocked from side to side in the waves. She was rocking backwards and forwards 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 (rather informal) to shock somebody/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. fashion
  11. 6(informal) rock something to wear something or have a style of clothing, hair, etc. that makes you look attractive or confident How to rock the retro look. She rocked a red leather skirt at the award ceremony.
  12. Word Originverb late Old English roccian, probably from a Germanic base meaning ‘remove, move’; related to Dutch rukken ‘jerk, tug’ and German rücken ‘move’.Extra examples He rocked back and forth in his chair. She gently rocked the baby in her arms. The boat rocked slightly. The boat rocked violently in the huge waves. The boat rocked from side to side on the water. The raft was rocked by a huge wave. The whole house rocked when the bomb exploded. They had only a few minutes to get out before the blast rocked their houses.Idioms (informal) 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
    jump to other results
    to cause people to question their basic beliefs about something This issue has shaken the foundations of French politics.
    Phrasal Verbsrock out
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: rock