rough / rəf/ • adj. 1. having an uneven or irregular surface; not smooth or level: take a square of sandpaper, rough side out. ∎ (of ground or terrain) having many bumps or other obstacles; difficult to cross: they had to carry the victim across the rough, stony ground. ∎ not soft to the touch: her skin felt dry and rough. ∎ (of a voice) coming out with difficulty so as to sound harsh and rasping: his voice was rough with barely suppressed fury. ∎ (of wine or another alcoholic drink) sharp or harsh in taste. ∎ denoting the face of a tennis or squash racket from which the loops formed in the stringing process project (used as a call when the racket is spun to decide the right to serve first or to choose ends); the opposite of smooth smooth (in sense 1).2. (of a person or their behavior) not gentle; violent or boisterous: strollers should be capable of withstanding rough treatment. ∎ (of an area or occasion) characterized by or notorious for the occurrence of violent behavior: the workmen hate going to the rough areas of town. ∎ (of the sea) having large and dangerous waves: the lifeboat crew braved rough seas to rescue a couple. ∎ (of weather) wild and stormy. ∎ inf. difficult and unpleasant; hard; severe: the teachers gave me a rough time because my image didn't fit. the first day of a job is rough on everyone. ∎ inf. unwell: the altitude had hit her and she was feeling rough. ∎ inf. depressed and anxious: when he's feeling rough, he comes and talks things over to calm him down.3. not finished tidily or decoratively; plain and basic: the customers sat at rough wooden tables. ∎ put together without the proper materials or skill; makeshift: he had one arm in a rough sling. ∎ (of hair or fur) not smooth; coarse: the creature's body was covered with rough hair. ∎ lacking sophistication or refinement: she took care of him in her rough, kindly way. ∎ not worked out or correct in every detail: he had a rough draft of his new novel.• adv. inf. in a manner that lacks gentleness; harshly or violently: treat ’em rough but treat ’em fair.• n. 1. chiefly Brit. a disreputable and violent person.2. (on a golf course) longer grass around the fairway and the green: his second shot was in the rough on the left.3. a preliminary sketch for a design: I did a rough to work out the scale of the lettering.4. an uncut precious stone.• v. [tr.] 1. work or shape (something) in a rough, preliminary fashion: flat surfaces of wood are roughed down. ∎ (rough something out) produce a preliminary and unfinished sketch or version of something: the engineer roughed out a diagram on his notepad. ∎ make uneven or ruffled: rough up the icing with a palette knife the water was roughed by the wind.2. (rough it) live in discomfort with only basic necessities: she had had to rough it alone in a dive.PHRASES: in the rough1. in a natural state; without decoration or other treatment: a diamond in the rough. 2. in difficulties: even before the recession hit, the project was in the rough.rough and ready crude but effective: a rough-and-ready estimating method. ∎ (of a person or place) unsophisticated or unrefined.rough around the edges having a few imperfections: until we clean up and lay down the new carpet, it's going to look a little rough around the edges. ∎ not refined: Donnie is a bit rough around the edges, but she loves him.the rough edge (or side) of one's tongue a scolding: you two stop quarreling or you'll get the rough edge of my tongue.rough edges small imperfections in someone or something that is basically satisfactory.rough justice treatment that is not scrupulously fair or in accordance with the law.rough passage a journey over rough sea. ∎ a difficult process of achieving something or of becoming successful: the rough passage faced by the legislation.a rough ride a difficult time or experience: rebel shareholders are expected to give officials a rough ride.rough stuff boisterous or violent behavior.take the rough with the smooth accept the difficult or unpleasant aspects of life as well as the good.PHRASAL VERBS: rough someone up inf. beat someone up.DERIVATIVES: rough·ish adj.rough·ness n.
rough music noisy uproar as intended to display public outrage or discontent at the behaviour of others; rough music was traditionally produced by banging together pots, pans, and other domestic utensils; it was likely to accompany the skimmington procession.
Rough Rider an irregular cavalryman; in particular, a member of a volunteer cavalry force during the Spanish-American War, the Rough Riders, raised and commanded by Theodore Roosevelt.
the rough side of someone's tongue a scolding.
take the rough with the smooth accept the unpleasant aspects of life as well as the good.
Hence roughen (-EN5) XVI. roughcast XVI. f. cast †cover by casting mortar on.