Definition of rugged in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɡɪd/


1(Of ground or terrain) having a broken, rocky, and uneven surface: a rugged coastline
More example sentences
  • You can picture the rugged terrain of rocky beaches and stony slopes with ancient smouldering volcanoes standing guard over antique vines.
  • This trip has it all - breathtaking views on many different summits, cave adventures, and rocky and rugged terrain.
  • Moreover, experienced contractors working in rugged terrain will carefully choose the worst ground for the day shift, reserving the better-going for night.
rough, uneven, bumpy, rocky, stony, irregular, pitted, broken up, jagged, craggy, precipitous
1.1(Of a man) having attractively strong, rough-hewn features: he was known for his rugged good looks
More example sentences
  • As a young man he set out to be one of the rugged men of action whose courage and daring his novels celebrate.
  • We reached the monastery by mid-morning, and the same rugged fellow who had been good enough to carry my little pack knocked heavily on the door.
  • He's a rugged man and will show people with his powerful biceps.
well built, burly, strong, big and strong, muscular, muscly, brawny, strapping, chunky, husky, broad-shouldered, powerfully built, muscle-bound;
tough, hardy, robust, sturdy, vigorous, hale and hearty, lusty, solid, mighty
informal hunky, beefy, hulking, ripped, shredded
North American informal buff
dated stalwart
literary thewy, stark
strong, craggy, rough-hewn, rough-textured, manly, masculine;
weather-beaten, weathered
2(Of clothing, equipment, etc.) strongly made and capable of withstanding rough handling: the binoculars are compact, lightweight, and rugged
More example sentences
  • Uninitiated onlookers could be forgiven for thinking that maybe the wearer had crawled or climbed over a barbed wire fence that took its toll upon the rugged garment.
  • These fences are fairly rugged and can withstand a variety of weather conditions, but they require periodic maintenance.
  • It needs to be rugged enough to withstand travel and fashionable enough to be able to bring into a business meeting.
durable, robust, sturdy, strong, strongly made, hard-wearing, built to last, tough, resilient
2.1Having or requiring toughness and determination: a week of rugged, demanding adventure at an outdoor training centre
More example sentences
  • And behind the sparkle lies the rugged determination that has made her what she is today.
  • And although the rugby was not classic it was rugged and determined in an entertaining end to end game.
  • Even that ultimate symbol of rugged individualism, the cowboy, is an endangered species.
austere, tough, harsh, spartan, exacting, taxing, demanding, difficult, hard, arduous, rigorous, strenuous, onerous
uncompromising, unwavering, unflinching, firm, tenacious, determined, resolute



Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɡɪdli/
Example sentences
  • The family lived in a sprawling estate with outbuildings then let out as guest accommodation, set in ruggedly beautiful Scottish countryside, about 70 miles from Glasgow.
  • He was superbly physically fit, ruggedly handsome, universally popular, dedicated to his job, honest, loyal and I was privileged to be but one of his many friends.
  • Its setting on the central Californian coast remains idyllic; the town is enfolded by forested hills and looks out on a ruggedly beautiful bay in which blue, gray and killer whales are often seen.


Pronunciation: /ˈrʌɡɪdnəs/
Example sentences
  • The tiny drive has two key attributes that make it useful to its target market: low power usage and ruggedness.
  • The strength and ruggedness of the chains provide excellent performance in mud, snow and on ice.
  • What the injuries reflect is the ruggedness of the terrain.


Middle English (in the sense 'shaggy', also (of a horse) 'rough-coated'): probably of Scandinavian origin; compare with Swedish rugga 'roughen', also with rug.

  • red from Old English:

    An Old English word which shares an ancient root with Latin rufus, Greek eruthros, and Sanskrit rudhira ‘red’. The colour red has traditionally been associated with radical political views, and from the 19th century particularly Communists. During the Cold War, when Americans feared reds under the bed or Communist sympathizers, the expression better dead than red was used to mean that the prospect of nuclear annihilation was preferable to that of a Communist society. The slogan was reversed by nuclear disarmament campaigners of the late 1950s as ‘better red than dead’. Something involving savage or merciless competition might be described as red in tooth and claw. The phrase came from Lord Tennyson's poem ‘In Memoriam’ (1854): ‘Nature, red in tooth and claw’. In Church calendars a saint's day or Church festival was distinguished by being written in red letters. This gives us a red letter day (early 18th century) for a pleasantly memorable, fortunate, or happy day. A less cheering use of red ink was customarily made to enter debit items and balances in accounts —which gives us in the red (early 20th century) to mean in debt or overdrawn.

    The colour red is supposed to provoke a bull, and is the colour of the cape used by matadors in bullfighting. From this we say that something will be like a red rag to a bull (late 19th century). A red herring is something, especially a clue, which misleads or distracts you. Red herrings have been around since the 15th century and got their colour from being heavily smoked to preserve them. The pungent scent was formerly used to lay a trail when training hounds to follow a scent. The red light district of a town is one with a lot of businesses concerned with sex. The phrase is from the red light traditionally used as the sign of a brothel. See also paint. People have been complaining about red tape, or excessive bureaucracy, since the 1730s. Real red or pinkish-red tape is used to bind together legal and official documents. Americans sometimes talk of not having a red cent to their name. Red got attached to the cent in the mid 19th century and refers to the colour of the copper used to make the one cent coin. Ruddy is from Old English rud, a variant form of ‘red’. The word's use as a euphemism for bloody dates from the early 20th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: rug¦ged

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