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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.



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adjective rough pronunciation in American English /rʌf/ 
Word Forms
  1. 1
    with a surface that is not smooth

    The walls were built of dark rough stone.

    Burlap provides warm color and a rough homespun texture.

    1. a.
      used about land and roads that are difficult to travel on

      They covered the 30 miles of rough terrain in record time.

  2. 2
    informal difficult and with a lot of problems

    Oh boy, I had a rough day at the office.

    a rough night (=a night when you cannot sleep):

    I feel terrible, I had a rough night last night.

    a rough time:

    You've been through rough times, you know what it's like.

    a rough ride (=a difficult period of time):

    It's been a rough ride for us, both financially and emotionally.

  3. 3
    not gentle

    Don't be so rough with her, James. She's only a baby.

  4. 4
    a rough drawing or piece of writing is not completely finished

    This is a rough drawing of the table I want to build.

    rough draft:

    Here is a rough draft for you to read.

    1. b.
      a rough idea or guess is not detailed or exact

      I don't know the precise cost, but I can give you a rough idea.

  5. 5
    a rough place is not pleasant because there is a lot of crime or violence there

    Madeline grew up in a rough neighborhood.

    That's a pretty rough bar.


derived word


noun [uncountable]


a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

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