rough - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    with a surface that is not smooth

    The walls were built of dark rough stone.

     Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      used about the surface of a lake, river, or sea that has a lot of waves, often because the weather is bad
    2. b.
      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

    I had a rough day at the office.

    a rough time:

    You’ve been through rough times, you know what it is like.

    a rough patch (=a difficult period):

    They were going through a rough patch in their relationship.

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

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

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

    Madeline grew up in a rough neighbourhood.

    That’s a pretty rough bar.

  5. 5
    a rough drawing or piece of writing is not completely finished

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

    rough draft:

    Here is a rough draft for you to read.

    1. a.
      used about an object that is not made very well, or is not completely finished

      The customers sat at rough wooden tables.

    2. 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.

  6. 7
    British informal if someone feels rough, they do not feel well

derived word


noun [uncountable]
See also