1 NOT SMOOTH having an uneven surface: Her hands were rough from hard work. | A rough track led to the farm. | rough grass—opposite smooth 1 (1)2 NOT EXACT not exact or not containing many details approximate: This is just a rough sketch but it gives you the idea. | a rough translation | a rough idea: Could you give me a rough idea what time you'll be home? | at a rough guess spoken (=without being at all certain or exact): At a rough guess, I'd say he was about 45. | a rough estimate: I can only give you a rough estimate of the cost at this stage.—see graph at idea3 NOT GENTLE using force or violence: Rugby is a very rough game. | A stroller should be easy to fold and capable of withstanding rough treatment.4 TOWN/AREA ETC a rough area is a place where there is a lot of violence or crime: a rough part of town5 HAVING A LOT OF PROBLEMS/DIFFICULTIES (usually before noun) a rough period is one in which you have a lot of problems or difficulties: Don't be too angry with her - she's had a very rough time of it lately. | I've had a really rough day. | go through a rough patch (=experience problems or difficulties) | give sb/sth a rough ride (=a very difficult time): The bill may have gotten through the House but it's in for a rough ride in the Senate.6 UNFAIR/UNLUCKY unfair or unlucky: it's rough on sb: It's rough on him, losing his job like that. | Two burglaries in one week? That's a bit rough!7 WEATHER/SEA with strong wind or storms: In the evening we were sick, it was a very rough crossing.8 NOT COMFORTABLE uncomfortable, with difficult conditions: a rough, pioneering way of life9 VOICE/SOUNDa) not sounding soft or gentle, and often rather unpleasant or angry: the rough voices of the workmenb) having an unpleasant sound, especially because there is something wrong with a machine: The clutch sounds rough, better get it checked.10 SIMPLE/NOT WELL MADE simple and often not very well made: We constructed a rough shelter using whatever materials we could find.11 feel rough informal to feel ill: I think I'd better go to bed - I'm feeling pretty rough.12 look rough informal to look untidy, dirty, or unhealthy: We had been travelling for two days, and must have looked pretty rough.13 rough and ready simple, but just good enough for a particular purpose14 rough justice punishment that is severe or unfair15 a rough night a night when you did not sleep well16 rough stuff spoken violent behaviour17 a bit of rough BrE humorous someone from a lower social class than you, with whom you have a sexual relationship18 give sb the rough side of your tongue BrE old-fashioned to speak angrily to someone— roughness noun (U) —see also: rough diamond, rough paper, roughly 2 noun1 take the rough with the smooth to accept the bad things in life as well as the good ones2 (C) a picture drawn very quickly, not showing all the details3 the rough uneven ground with long grass on a golf course4 in rough BrE if you write or draw something in rough, you do it without paying attention to details or tidiness: It's best to work in rough first, and then write it out neatly.—see also: diamond in the rough 3 verb rough it informal to live for a short time in conditions that are not very comfortable: Let's just take the tent - I don't mind roughing it for a bit. rough sth in phrasal verb (T) to add something to a picture, without showing all the exact details: If you look here you can see another angle for the arm roughed in. rough sth out phrasal verb (T) to draw or write something, without showing all the exact details: Iain was peering at a diagram the engineer had roughed out on his notepad. rough sb up phrasal verb (T) informal to attack someone and hurt them by hitting them 4 adverb1 sleep rough BrE to sleep outside with nothing to protect you from the weather: sleeping rough on the street2 play rough to play in a fairly violent way—see also: cut up rough cut 1
Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.