Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

rock - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb rock pronunciation in American English /rɑk/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlerocking
past tenserocked
past participlerocked
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to move backward and forward or from side to side in a gentle way

    He sat rocking in his seat and staring out of the window.

    Hold your knees close to your chest and rock from side to side.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make someone or something move backward and forward or from side to side in a gentle way

      She rocked the child in her arms.

  2. 2
    [transitive] mainly journalism to shock, surprise, or frighten someone

    Spain has been rocked by another political scandal.

  3. 3
    [transitive] if an explosion or earthquake rocks something, it makes it shake violently

    The blast rocked the houses in the street.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] if something rocks, it shakes violently as a result of an explosion or an earthquake
  4. 4
    [intransitive] informal to play or dance to rock music
    Synonyms and related words
  5. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    fashion speak for 'wear a particular kind of clothes'

    Our favorite bloggers are rocking them, and we’re oBsSeSeDd with them… S.T.R.I.P.E.S!!!

    Submitted from United Kingdom on 14/02/2012

phrasal verbs



a title used before a man or woman's name as a gender-neutral alternative to Mr, Ms, etc

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


another way of saying congratulations, or that something/someone looks nice or fascinating

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play