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rough - definition and synonyms


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adjective rough pronunciation in American English /rʌf/
Word Forms
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  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.
    Synonyms and related words
    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. b.
      used about the surface of a lake, river, or ocean that has a lot of waves, often because the weather is bad
      Rough waves prevented rescuers from approaching the ship.
  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.
    Synonyms and related words
  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 course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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