Definition of rock in English:


Syllabification: rock
Pronunciation: /räk


1Move gently to and fro or from side to side: [with object]: she rocked the baby in her arms [no object]: the vase rocked back and forth on its base (as adjective rocking) the rocking movement of the boat
More example sentences
  • I think I spent a week in a row rocking him to sleep, just speaking it over.
  • She rocked herself to and fro, and the tears gathered in her eyes and slowly trickled down her cheeks.
  • He rocked his body at the mike, rolled his eyes, pulled back his lips in elegant disdain, and finished each sentence with a sensual guttural trail.
move to and fro, move back and forth, sway, seesaw; roll, pitch, plunge, toss, lurch, reel, list; wobble, oscillate
1.1(With reference to a building or region) shake or cause to shake or vibrate, especially because of an impact, earthquake, or explosion: [with object]: another blast rocked the ship and threw him from his chair [no object]: the building began to rock on its foundations
More example sentences
  • He is awake in the middle of the night and he feels as if the hotel is being rocked by an earthquake.
  • An explosion rocks downtown London and shuts down the city.
  • Both films take place in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that rocked northern Iran in 1990, killing nearly 50,000 people.
1.2 [with object] Cause great shock or distress to (someone or something), especially so as to weaken or destabilize them or it: diplomatic upheavals that rocked the British Empire
More example sentences
  • This incident rocked the Canadian province of Newfoundland.
  • When tumultuous events rocked the world he soon forgot her.
  • Corporate scandals have recently rocked the business world, shocked shareholders and the public at large, and led to the downfall of several large-scale firms.
stun, shock, stagger, astonish, startle, surprise, shake, shake up, take aback, throw, unnerve, disconcert
2 [no object] informal Dance to or play rock music.
More example sentences
  • While my musical strength may be in the Classical realm, I also know that Little Richard really rocked in his day.
  • In this case, the screen was bigger, the score was louder and the crowd was rocking.
  • If the crowd is not rocking to this one beat, you gotta get it out and get the next record in.
2.1(Of a place) have an atmosphere of excitement or much social activity: the new town really rocks (as adjective rocking) a rocking resort
3 [with object] informal Wear (a garment) or affect (an attitude or style), especially in a confident or flamboyant way: she was rocking a clingy little leopard-skin number


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1Rock music: [as modifier]: a rock star
More example sentences
  • Unlike many rock stars who venture into acting, Jagger has a genuine talent in front of the camera.
  • He beat out no less than Sting and Paul McCartney, two rock idols who performed their own nominated songs.
  • He went autobiographical and nostalgic in his book, looking at love amongst rock stars and the people who love them.
1.1Rock and roll.
More example sentences
  • It is a film for everyone, both those who were touched by this era of rock and those who just remember that fleeting second when the world didn't slow down.
  • It made me want to run out and start a rockabilly band to pay tribute to rock's greatest geek.
2 [in singular] A gentle movement to and fro or from side to side: she placed the baby in the cradle and gave it a rock


late Old English roccian, probably from a Germanic base meaning 'remove, move'; related to Dutch rukken 'jerk, tug' and German rücken 'move'. The noun dates from the early 19th century.


rock the boat

see boat.

Phrasal verbs

rock out

informal Perform rock music loudly and vigorously.
More example sentences
  • The Canadian guitar god should have been dressed in a schoolboy uniform as he rocked out like AC/DC throughout the performance.
  • With just a square black stage and some colourful lights, it almost felt like the group were rocking out at their local bar - except for the thousands of screaming hordes.
  • When they aren't rocking out, the band do what they can to encourage their fans to become politically aware and get out to the voting polls.

Definition of rock in:

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