From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for “rugged”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English rugged, roggyd, ruggyd, derived from Old Norse rǫgg (tuft, shagginess), equivalent to rug (rough, woollen material) +‎ -ed. Compare Old Swedish ruggoter (wrinkled), Swedish rugga (to roughen), Swedish ruggig (shaggy), Icelandic rögg (shagginess), Old Norse raggaðr (tufted), dialectal Danish raggad (shaggy).


  • rŭ-gĭd, IPA(key): /ˈɹʌɡɪd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌɡɪd


rugged (comparative ruggeder, superlative ruggedest)

  1. Broken into sharp or irregular points; uneven; not smooth; rough.
    • 1870–1871 (date written), Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter LXV, in Roughing It, Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company [et al.], published 1872, →OCLC:
      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 bristly 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, Arthur 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, 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. (of temper, character, or people) Harsh; austere; hard
    Synonym: crabbed
  7. (of weather) Stormy; turbulent; tempestuous
    Synonym: rude
  8. (of sound, style etc.) Harsh; grating; unpleasant sounding or looking
  9. (of looks, appearance etc.) Sour; surly; frowning; wrinkled
    • 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. (of behaviour) Violent; rude; boisterous
  11. (of health, physique etc.) Vigorous; robust; hardy
    • 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.
    • 2011, Nick Fletcher, Psion drops 2% after supply chain issues push it into loss[1]:
      Psion, which supplies a range of rugged hand held computers, has lost nearly 2% after announcing a plunge into the red.
Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

rug +‎ -ed



rugged (not comparable)

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



  1. simple past and past participle of rug