Definition of rough and tumble in English:

rough and tumble

Line breaks: rough and tum¦ble


A situation without rules or organization; a free-for-all: the rough and tumble of political life [as modifier]: the rough-and-tumble atmosphere of the dealing room
More example sentences
  • Newsgirls were to be found, but young females generally enjoyed fewer opportunities within the rough-and-tumble street culture milieu.
  • The best of the landscapes meld nature's rough and tumble with the rough and tumble of the paint to rich effect.
  • He examines the rough-and-tumble world of Chicago party politics, where labor organizations were but one group of players.
scuffle, struggle, fight, brawl, fracas, rumpus, melee, free-for-all, scrimmage; Irish, North American, & Australiandonnybrook
Law, dated affray
informal scrap, dust-up, punch-up, shindy
North American informal rough house


early 19th century: originally boxing slang.

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