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[ruhg-id] /ˈrʌg ɪd/
having a roughly broken, rocky, hilly, or jagged surface:
rugged ground.
(of a face) wrinkled or furrowed, as by experience or the endurance of hardship.
roughly irregular, heavy, or hard in outline or form; craggy:
Lincoln's rugged features.
rough, harsh, or stern, as persons or nature.
full of hardship and trouble; severe; hard; trying:
a rugged life.
tempestuous; stormy:
rugged weather.
harsh to the ear:
rugged sounds.
rude, uncultivated, or unrefined.
homely or plain:
rugged fare.
capable of enduring hardship, wear, etc.; strong and tough:
rugged floor covering; a rugged lumberjack.
Origin of rugged
1300-50; Middle English < Scandinavian; compare Swedish rugga to roughen (of cloth); cf. rug
Related forms
ruggedly, adverb
ruggedness, noun
unrugged, adjective
1. uneven, irregular, craggy. 4. austere. 6. turbulent. 7. grating, cacophonous. 8. unpolished, crude.
1. smooth. 4. mild. 10. frail. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ruggedly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Both come from the Shetland Islands, which are north of Scotland and are ruggedly wild.

    The Wee Scotch Piper Madeline Brandeis
  • He was the dark, ruggedly handsome type, the kind who took it for granted that women should fawn over him.

    A Woman's Place Mark Irvin Clifton
  • His ruggedly honest nature and stern sense of justice could not get over those past failings.

    We Two Edna Lyall
  • New York had not had time as yet to remove the bronze tan of an outdoor life from Blake's ruggedly good-looking face.

    Zehru of Xollar Hal K. Wells
  • His hands were large and well kept, but ruggedly formed, and the backs were shaded with crinkly reddish hair.

    Song of the Lark Willa Cather
  • "Only—" ruggedly the soft little chin thrust itself forth into stubborn outline again.

    Little Eve Edgarton Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
  • They appeared to be pretty much of one class, uneducated, dull, and just about as ruggedly built as their men.

  • He did not, however, expect to find in his garden a stately palm-tree—a character so lofty and ruggedly strong.

    A King of Tyre James M. Ludlow
  • His face was ruggedly formed, but it looked like ashes—like something from which all the warmth and light had died out.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
British Dictionary definitions for ruggedly


having an uneven or jagged surface
rocky or steep: rugged scenery
(of the face) strong-featured or furrowed
rough, severe, or stern in character
without refinement or culture; rude: rugged manners
involving hardship; harsh: he leads a rugged life in the mountains
difficult or hard: a rugged test
(of equipment, machines, etc) designed to withstand rough treatment or use in rough conditions: a handheld rugged computer which can survive being submerged in water
(mainly US & Canadian) sturdy or strong; robust
Derived Forms
ruggedly, adverb
ruggedness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Scandinavian; compare Swedish rugga to make rough
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ruggedly



c.1300, "rough, shaggy, careworn" (originally of animals), from Old Norse rogg "shaggy tuft" (see rug). "The precise relationship to ragged is not quite clear, but the stem is no doubt ultimately the same" [OED]. Meaning "vigorous, strong, robust" is American English, by 1848.

We were challenged with a peace-time choice between the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of diametrically opposed doctrines -- doctrines of paternalism and state socialism. [Herbert Hoover, speech in New York, Oct. 22, 1928]
Hoover said the phrase was not his own, and it is attested from 1897, though not in a patriotic context. Related: Ruggedly; ruggedness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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