[ruhf-uh n-tuhm-buh l]
characterized by violent, random, disorderly action and struggles: a rough-and-tumble fight; He led an adventuresome, rough-and-tumble life.
given to such action.
rough and unrestrained competition, fighting, struggling, etc.
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rugged, turbulent, tempestuous, strenuous, scramble, shove, hustle, knock, nudge, bump, hook, bulldoze, temporary, emergency, makeshift, expedient, impromptu, rough-and-tumble, substitute, temp
- rough spin,
- rough stuff,
- rough trade,
- rough up,
Origin of rough-and-tumble
First recorded in 1785–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
a fight or scuffle without rules
characterized by roughness, disorderliness, and disregard for rules or conventions
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
rough and tumble
Disorderly scuffling or infighting, as in She had some reservations about entering the rough and tumble of local politics. This expression originated in the late 1700s in boxing, where it referred to a fight without rules. [Mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.