Definition of rock in English:


Syllabification: rock
Pronunciation: /räk


1The solid mineral material forming part of the surface of the earth and other similar planets, exposed on the surface or underlying the soil or oceans.
More example sentences
  • Groundwater will contain the minerals dissolved as the water moves through soil and rock materials.
  • Sulfates are a combination of sulfur and oxygen and are a part of naturally occurring minerals in some soil and rock formations that contain groundwater.
  • Lighter than the surrounding solid rock, this liquid magma rises, cools, and crystallizes beneath Earth's surface.
1.1A mass of rock projecting above the earth’s surface or out of the sea: there are dangerous rocks around the island
More example sentences
  • Of course they have to break out of jail, and the posse who is hot on their tail gets turned back by a sniper in the rocks above.
  • At the centre of the building is a courtyard; in fact, the original patch of trees, rocks and earth that was here from the very start.
  • More than half of Mandela's sentence was spent on Robben Island, a windswept rock surrounded by the treacherous seas of the Cape of Good Hope.
1.2 Geology Any natural material, hard or soft (e.g., clay), having a distinctive mineral composition.
More example sentences
  • A main types of mineral phosphate, soft rock phosphate comes mostly from ancient sea deposits.
  • Karst landscapes are developed wherever soluble carbonate rocks outcrop and where surplus rainfall is available to dissolve the limestone.
  • The cave offers an in-depth view of the immense layers of limestone rock formed by the sedimented shells.
1.3 (the Rock) Gibraltar.
1.4 (the Rock) informal name for Newfoundland1.
2A large piece of rock that has become detached from a cliff or mountain; a boulder: the stream flowed through a jumble of rocks
More example sentences
  • Should he have intervened, therefore preventing David's death, or did he do the right thing by just staying behind the rocks?
  • He lies on a rock, a mountain looming above him and his naked body partially covered by a white dress.
  • It was so clearly identifiable as his work from the outset that I kept expecting either Ricardo Montalban or Kate Winslet to pop out from behind a rock.
2.1North American A stone of any size, especially one small enough to be picked up and used as a projectile.
More example sentences
  • Tiger also faced abuse at the hands of grade school classmates, who once even tied him to a tree and threw rocks at him.
  • The film has one of cinema's most beautiful uses of an open exterior, when the husband throws a rock towards the nuclear plant just after dusk.
  • If you must ripple the pond, throw a small rock first and pay careful attention.
2.2British A kind of hard confectionery in the form of cylindrical peppermint-flavored sticks.
2.3 informal A precious stone, especially a diamond.
More example sentences
  • It's like a trip through a jewelry store that sells nothing but pricey diamond rings with big rocks.
  • Instead of working with flashy, expensive rocks, he preferred to use semiprecious stones - and his wits.
2.4 informal A small piece of crack cocaine.
2.5 (rocks) vulgar slang Testicles.
3Used in similes and metaphors to refer to someone or something that is extremely strong, reliable, or hard: imagining himself as the last rock of civilization being swept over by a wave of barbarism
More example sentences
  • Mia really has become the rock in this world, his key to becoming a better man.
  • It was only sprung on us in the sense that at any point, we could have said ‘no’ and faced the rock that was our boss.
foundation, cornerstone, support, prop, mainstay; tower of strength, bulwark, anchor
3.1 (usually rocks) (Especially with allusion to shipwrecks) a source of danger or destruction: the new system is heading for the rocks
More example sentences
  • While his willingness to explore the darker side of marriage makes his movie more perceptive than many others, the film loses its way when love hits the rocks.
4 (rocks) US informal , dated Money.


Middle English: from Old French rocque, from medieval Latin rocca, of unknown ultimate origin.


between a rock and a hard place

informal In a situation where one is faced with two equally difficult alternatives.
More example sentences
  • The army chief is certainly caught between a rock and a hard place.
  • With the mayor and the police force all breathing down Harry's neck, Harry finds himself between a rock and a hard place.
  • Rex to Miles: ‘My wife has me between a rock and a hard place.’

get one's rocks off

vulgar slang Have an orgasm.
Obtain pleasure or satisfaction.
More example sentences
  • I am sure that he is getting his rocks off over the fact that people are discussing him - no matter how derisive the comments might be.
  • This is totally the kind of art that gets my rocks off.
  • Given that graphic design is a wholly commercial field, how do arty people get their rocks off and feel subversive even while selling their skills to companies and corporations?

on the rocks

1(Of a relationship or enterprise) experiencing difficulties and likely to fail.
More example sentences
  • My relationship has been on the rocks ever since my boyfriend left our ballet company to join a dance troupe in another state.
  • His relationship with Sissy on the rocks, Bud takes to practicing bull riding.
  • Feigning being in love and making googly eyes isn't too much of a challenge; convincingly portraying a long-time couple whose relationship is on the rocks is the tough part.
in difficulty, in trouble, breaking up, over; in tatters, in ruins, ruined
2(Of a drink) served undiluted and with ice cubes.
More example sentences
  • He starts smoking an exclusive brand of cigarette and drinking single malt whisky on the rocks.
  • When not ‘landing’ a big client, she cares for her aging father, and sexes it up with her fiancé, who looks like he drinks Vitalis on the rocks.
  • My favorite drink is malt scotch, either on the rocks or with a splash of soda and a twist.
with ice, on ice, over ice





More example sentences
  • Thus, you will be confined to somewhat small areas on which you can construct your base, generally represented by a hard red rock-like surface.
  • Rock wool loose-fill insulation is similar to fiberglass except that it is spun from blast furnace slag and other rock-like materials instead of molten glass.
  • Even a rock-like drop in the dollar during the last two quarters of 2003 has brought no relief from chronically high US trade and current account deficits.

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