rock

1
[ rok ]
/ rɒk /

noun

Idioms

Origin of rock

1
1300–50; 1905–10 for def 10; Middle English rokk(e) < Old French ro(c)que, roche (cf. roche alum); compare Spanish, Provençal roca, Italian rocca, Medieval Latin rocha, rocca (> late Old English -rocc in stānrocc “stone-rock”)
Related formsrock·less, adjectiverock·like, adjective
Can be confusedboulder cobblestone granule pebble rock stone
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for between a rock and a hard place (1 of 3)

rock

1
/ (rɒk) /

noun

Word Origin for rock

C14: from Old French roche, of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for between a rock and a hard place (2 of 3)

rock

2
/ (rɒk) /

verb

noun

See also rock up

Word Origin for rock

Old English roccian; related to Middle Dutch, Old High German rocken, German rücken

British Dictionary definitions for between a rock and a hard place (3 of 3)

Rock

/ (rɒk) /

noun the Rock

an informal name for Gibraltar
a Canadian informal name for Newfoundland
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

Medicine definitions for between a rock and a hard place

Rock

[ rŏk ]
John 1890-1984

American gynecologist and obstetrician who helped develop the first effective oral contraceptive in 1954.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for between a rock and a hard place

rock

[ rŏk ]

A relatively hard, naturally occurring mineral material. Rock can consist of a single mineral or of several minerals that are either tightly compacted or held together by a cementlike mineral matrix. The three main types of rock are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
A piece of such material; a stone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for between a rock and a hard place

between a rock and a hard place


Faced with two equally dangerous or difficult choices or circumstances: “Trying to please two supervisors is like being between a rock and a hard place.” This phrase dates from the early twentieth century.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with between a rock and a hard place (1 of 2)

between a rock and a hard place


Also, between the devil and the deep blue sea or Scylla and Charybdis. Between two equally difficult or unacceptable choices. For example, Trying to please both my boss and his supervisor puts me between a rock and a hard place. The rock and hard place version is the newest of these synonymous phrases, dating from the early 1900s, and alludes to being caught or crushed between two rocks. The oldest is Scylla and Charybdis, which in Homer's Odyssey signified a monster on a rock (Scylla) and a fatal whirlpool (Charybdis), between which Odysseus had to sail through a narrow passage. It was used figuratively by the Roman writer Virgil and many writers since. The devil in devil and deep blue sea, according to lexicographer Charles Earle Funk, referred to a seam around a ship's hull near the waterline, which, if a sailor was trying to caulk it in heavy seas, would cause him to fall overboard. Others disagree, however, and believe the phrase simply alludes to a choice between hellfire with the devil and drowning in deep waters.

Idioms and Phrases with between a rock and a hard place (2 of 2)

rock


In addition to the idioms beginning with rock

  • rock bottom
  • rocks in one's head, have
  • rock the boat

also see:

  • between a rock and a hard place
  • on the rocks
  • steady as a rock
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.