- mineral matter of variable composition, consolidated or unconsolidated, assembled in masses or considerable quantities in nature, as by the action of heat or water.
- a particular kind of such matter: igneous rock.
- Informal.in or into a state of disaster or ruin: Their marriage is on the rocks.
- Informal.without funds; destitute; bankrupt.
- (of a beverage, especially liquor or a cocktail) with, or containing, ice cubes: Scotch on the rocks; a vodka martini on the rocks.
Origin of rock1
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- to stir up; animate: We're gonna rock this joint tonight!
- to use, wear, or display in a showy, self-confident manner or to great effect: Only you could rock that hat! The game rocks some amazing new features.
Origin of rock2
Synonyms for rock
Origin of rock3
Related Words for rocksmetal, rubble, lava, earth, gravel, slab, shake, convulse, shock, jolt, swing, sway, quarry, shelf, crust, promontory, mass, bedrock, reef, lodge
Examples from the Web for rocks
Contemporary Examples of rocks
One of the rocks hit Krystyn Atwood, a black girl, and another hit Emily Harr, a white girl.Mark Wahlberg’s Pardon Plea: A Look Back At His Troubling, Violent, and Racist Rap Sheet
December 7, 2014
Thirty-two people died when he ran his ship onto the rocks off Tuscany in 2012.
“Otherwise, we go on the rocks,” he can be heard saying in English.
When the ship hit the rocks, the sound of bells ringing and alarms sounding echoed in the theater.
The mirror made the rocks and vehicles seem to hang in the air.‘Asteroids’ & The Dawn of the Gamer Age
November 29, 2014
Historical Examples of rocks
We found they had left, and there was no water on the rocks.Explorations in Australia
Nothing showed on the rocks, nothing showed on the face of the cliff.
There was no trace of the body in the waters, no drop of blood on the rocks.
There was no sign of the body of Andrew Lanning among the rocks.
Among these rocks, now, he would stand no chance with Sally.
- in a state of ruin or destitution
- (of drinks, esp whisky) served with ice
Word Origin for rock
Word Origin for rock
noun the Rock
plural of rock (n.1). Meaning "ice cubes" is from 1946; slang meaning "testicles" is first recorded in phrase get (one's) rocks off "achieve intense satisfaction." On the rocks "ruined" is from 1889, figurative use of the expression with reference to ships (by 1735).
"stone, mass of mineral matter," c.1300, from Old English rocc (e.g. stanrocc "stone rock or obelisk") and directly from Old North French roque, which is cognate with Medieval Latin rocca (8c.), from Vulgar Latin *rocca, of uncertain origin, according to Klein sometimes said to be from Celtic (cf. Breton roch).
In Middle English it seems to have been used principally for rock formations as opposed to individual stones. Meaning "precious stone, especially a diamond," is 1908, U.S. slang. Meaning "crystallized cocaine" is attested from 1973, in West Coast U.S. slang. Figurative use for "sure foundation" (especially with reference to Christ) is from 1520s; but also from 1520s as "source of danger or destruction," in reference to shipwrecks (e.g. on the rocks). Also used attributively in names of animals that frequent rocky habitats, e.g. rock lobster (1843). Between a rock and a hard place first attested 1921:
to be between a rock and a hard place, vb. ph. To be bankrupt. Common in Arizona in recent panics; sporadic in California. ["Dialect Notes," vol. V, part iv, 1921]
Rock-ribbed is from 1776, originally of land; figurative sense of "resolute" first recorded 1887. Rock-happy (1945) was U.S. Pacific Theater armed forces slang for "mentally unhinged after too much time on one island." The rock-scissors-paper game is attested by that name from 1976; from 1968 as paper-stone-scissors. A 1967 source says it is based on Japanese Jan Ken Pon (or Janken for short), which is said to mean the same thing more or less.
"to sway," late Old English roccian "move a child gently to and fro," related to Old Norse rykkja "to pull, tear, move," Swedish rycka "to pull, pluck," Middle Dutch rucken, Old High German rucchan, German rücken "to move jerkily."
Meaning "cause to sway back and forth" is from late 13c. Intransitive sense from late 14c. For popular music senses, see rock (v.2). Related: Rocked; rocking. To rock the boat in the figurative sense "stir up trouble" is from 1914. Rock-a-bye first recorded 1805 in nursery rhyme.
"to dance to popular music with a strong beat," 1948 (first attested in song title "We're gonna rock"), from rock (v.1), in earlier blues slang sense of "to cause to move with musical rhythm" (1922); often used at first with sexual overtones (cf. 1922 song title "My Man Rocks Me (with One Steady Roll)"). Sense developed early 1950s to "play or dance to rock and roll music." Related: Rocked; rocking. Rocksteady, Jamaican pop music style (precursor of reggae), is attested from 1969.
In addition to the idioms beginning with rock
- rock bottom
- rocks in one's head, have
- rock the boat
- between a rock and a hard place
- on the rocks
- steady as a rock