Etymology: Middle English, from Old English rūh; akin to Old High German rūh rough, Lithuanian raukas wrinkle
Date: before 12th century
a. marked by inequalities, ridges, or projections on the surface ; coarse
b. covered with or made up of coarse and often shaggy hair <rough-coated collie> — compare smooth, wirehaired c. (1) having a broken, uneven, or bumpy surface <rough terrain> (2) difficult to travel through or penetrate ; wild <into the rough woods — P. B. Shelley> 2. a. turbulent, tempestuous <rough seas> b. (1) characterized by harshness, violence, or force (2) presenting a challenge ; difficult <rough to deal with — R. M. McAlmon> 3. coarse or rugged in character or appearance: as a. harsh to the ear b. crude in style or expression c. indelicate d. marked by a lack of refinement or grace ; uncouth 4. a. crude, unfinished <rough carpentry> b. executed or ventured hastily, tentatively, or imperfectly <a rough draft> <rough estimate>; also approximate <a rough idea> • roughish adjective • roughness noun Synonyms: rough, harsh, uneven, rugged, scabrous mean not smooth or even. rough implies points, bristles, ridges, or projections on the surface <a rough wooden board>. harsh implies a surface or texture distinctly unpleasant to the touch <a harsh fabric that chafes the skin>. uneven implies a lack of uniformity in height, breadth, or quality <an old house with uneven floors>. rugged implies irregularity or roughness of land surface and connotes difficulty of travel <a rugged landscape>. scabrous implies scaliness or prickliness of surface <a scabrous leaf>. Synonym: see in addition rude. II. adverb Date: 14th century 1. roughly 1 2. British without usual conveniences; especially without proper shelter <become homeless and have to sleep rough — London Times> III. noun Date: 15th century 1. uneven ground covered with high grass, brush, and stones; specifically such ground bordering a golf fairway 2. the rugged or disagreeable side or aspect <hiking-camping admirers of nature in the rough — Eleanor Stirling> 3. a. something in a crude, unfinished, or preliminary state b. broad outline ; general terms <the question…has been discussed in rough — Manchester Guardian Weekly> c. a hasty preliminary drawing or layout 4. rowdy IV. transitive verb Date: 1763 1. roughen 2. a. to subject to abuse ; manhandle, beat — usually used with up b. to subject to unnecessary and intentional violence in a sport <a penalty for roughing the passer> c. shell 3 — used with up <was roughed up for six runs> 3. to calk or otherwise roughen (a horse's shoes) to prevent slipping 4. a. to shape, make, or dress in a rough or preliminary way b. to indicate the chief lines of <rough out the structure of a building> • rougher noun
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.