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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English rugged, roggyd, ruggyd, from Old Provençal rugat ‎(creased, wrinkled), from Old Provençal ruga ‎(crease, wrinkle).


  • rŭ-gĭd, IPA(key): /ˈrʌɡɪd/
  • (file)


rugged ‎(comparative ruggeder, superlative ruggedest)

  1. Broken into sharp or irregular points; uneven; not smooth; rough.
    • 1870, Mark Twain, Roughing It, Chapter LXV
      By and by, after a rugged climb, we halted on the summit of a hill which commanded a far-reaching view.
  2. Not neat or regular; irregular, uneven.
    • 2011, Ronke Luke-Boone, African Fabrics: Sewing Contemporary Fashion with Ethic Flair
      Commercially produced yarn, such as rayon, produces a cloth with a smoother, shinier look than hand-spun cotton, but the uneven, rugged look of hand-spun cotton can be quite appealing.
  3. Rough with bristles or hair; shaggy.
    • 1897, Kate Chopin, A Morning Walk
      His hair was light and rather thin; his face strong and rugged from exposure, and his eyes narrow and observant.
  4. (of a person) Strong, sturdy, well-built.
    • 2010, Arthru Queen Jr., Young Man: Ageless Fatherly Wisdom to Hold
      Many women and men delude themselves into thinking that only the hardest and most rugged man is attractive and to many it may be the case.
  5. (of land) Rocky and bare of plantlife.
    • 2013, Vicky Baker in The Guardian, Riding with the cowboys on a Mexico ranch
      Hidden within 30,000 acres of rugged private land, the ranch is cocooned by peaks and canyons in all directions.
    • 1971, United States Forest Service, Search for solitude: our wilderness heritage
      Much of the area can be seen only by hikers who travel without trails to the higher reaches of this rugged mountain range.
  6. Harsh; austere; hard; crabbed; — said of temper, character, and the like, or of persons.
  7. Stormy; turbulent; tempestuous; rude.
  8. Harsh; grating; rough to the ear — said of sound, style, and the like.
  9. Sour; surly; frowning; wrinkled; — said of looks, etc.
    • 1908, Rafael Sabatini, The Abduction
      "Ah!" sighed the unimaginative Granby, and his honest, rugged face grew clouded. Pepper puffed in silence for a moment or two; then spoke.
  10. Violent; rude; boisterous; — said of conduct, manners, etc.
  11. Vigorous; robust; hardy; — said of health, physique, etc.
    • 1909, Jack London, Martin Eden
      "Her gaze rested for a moment on the muscular neck, heavy corded, almost bull-like, bronzed by the sun, spilling over with rugged health and strength..."
  12. (computing, of a computer) Designed to reliably operate in harsh usage environments and conditions.
Derived terms[edit]

External links[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

rug +‎ -ed



rugged ‎(not comparable)

  1. Having a rug or rugs.
  2. Covered with a rug.



  1. simple past tense and past participle of rug