Meaning of “rough” in the English Dictionary

"rough" in British English

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uk /rʌf/ us /rʌf/

rough adjective (NOT EVEN)

B1 not even or smooth, often because of being in bad condition:

It was a rough mountain road, full of stones and huge holes.

B1 If a surface such as paper or skin is rough, it does not feel smooth when you touch it:

My hands get very rough in the cold.

Rough ground is ground that is not used for any particular purpose, is not even, and is full of wild plants.

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rough adjective (NOT EXACT)

B1 [ before noun ] not exact or detailed:

The builder did a rough sketch of how the new stairs would look.
This is only a rough guess.
She made a rough estimate/calculation of the likely cost.
The tests are a rough guide to students' progress.

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rough adjective (POOR QUALITY)

used to describe an alcoholic drink, especially wine, that tastes cheap and often strong

not made in a careful or expensive way:

I made a rough table out of some old boxes.

rough adjective (STORMY)

B2 (of the weather or the sea) having strong winds or big waves:

I'm always seasick if the water/wind/sea/weather is rough.
noun [ U ] uk /ˈrʌf.nəs/ us /ˈrʌf.nəs/


uk /rʌf/ us /rʌf/


uk /rʌf/ us /rʌf/


uk /rʌf/ us /rʌf/

(Definition of “rough” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"rough" in American English

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roughadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /rʌf/

rough adjective [ -er/-est only ] (UNEVEN)

(of a surface) not even or smooth:

It was a rough road, full of potholes.
Her laugh was rough and loud.

rough adjective [ -er/-est only ] (VIOLENT)

violent or stormy:

The sea was too rough for sailing.
They live in a rough neighborhood.

rough adjective [ -er/-est only ] (DIFFICULT)

difficult or unpleasant:

She’s had a rough year – she lost her job, then her father died.

rough adjective [ -er/-est only ] (NOT EXACT)

not exact or detailed; approximate:

I quickly made a rough table from some boards.
Can you give us a rough estimate of the cost?
adverb [ not gradable ] us /rʌf/

The team had a reputation for playing rough.


(Definition of “rough” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"rough" in Business English

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uk /rʌf/ us

fairly correct but not exact or detailed:

The $51 million is a rough estimate.
These are very rough figures which will help us to plan for the future.

not completely finished:

He gave me a rough draft of the presentation.

difficult or unpleasant:

Small stores are having a very rough time .
Subprime lending on private markets is in for a rough ride.


uk /rʌf/ us

[ C ] a first quick drawing of something:

He sent me over the roughs.
in rough

simple and without details:

The plans were drawn up in rough .

(Definition of “rough” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)