Meaning of “roughly” in the English Dictionary

"roughly" in British English

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uk /ˈrʌ us /ˈrʌ

roughly adverb (NOT EXACTLY)

B2 approximately:

There has been an increase of roughly 2.25 million.
Roughly speaking, it's 2.25 million.
We have roughly similar tastes/roughly the same tastes.

More examples

  • Chop up the onions and carrots roughly.
  • One box may look bigger than the other, but in fact they are roughly equal in volume.
  • The two scientists both made the same discovery independently, at roughly the same time.
  • The money I've saved corresponds roughly to the amount I need for my course.
  • The prices were very roughly calculated - it looked as though he'd done them on the back of an envelope.

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

"roughly" in American English

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roughlyadverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈrʌf·li/

roughly adverb [ not gradable ] (VIOLENTLY)


He pushed the luggage roughly to the side.

roughly adverb [ not gradable ] (NOT EXACTLY)


The town’s population has roughly doubled.

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

"roughly" in Business English

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uk /ˈrʌfli/ us

not exactly:

Roughly $104.8 million was spent on lottery tickets in 2006.

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