- 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 roomMore 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.
early 19th century: originally boxing slang.