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a small food fish of the family Arripididae, found in southern and western Australian waters Also called orange roughy, ruff, tommy rough


noun (Austral, slang)
something unfair, esp a trick: he put a roughie over
(in horse racing) an outsider that wins
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Examples from the Web for roughie
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Trevor glanced, still a little doubtfully, at roughie in my arms.

    The House That Grew Mrs. Molesworth
  • I can see roughie'—for Rough, had considered it more manly to stay in the shop—'and Mr.—your papa, Celestina.

    The Rectory Children Mrs Molesworth
  • He ran—of course the noise got worse; he ran faster, and it grew louder—faster still—oh, my poor roughie!

    The House That Grew Mrs. Molesworth
  • But for my having him in my arms, he would have made an end of roughie, and certainly I would never have told this story.

    The House That Grew Mrs. Molesworth
Contemporary definitions for roughie

a rough person; hooligan


The roughies were hanging out at the fairgrounds.

Word Origin


Usage Note

Australian slang's 21st Century Lexicon
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Slang definitions & phrases for roughie



  1. A tough or crude person
  2. A shrewd or unfair trick: sprang a roughie on him
  3. A long shot to win (Australian)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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