or rough·hew


verb (used with object), rough-hewed, rough-hewed or rough-hewn, rough-hew·ing.

to hew (timber, stone, etc.) roughly or without smoothing or finishing.
to shape roughly; give crude form to.

Origin of rough-hew

First recorded in 1520–30 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rough-hewn

Contemporary Examples of rough-hewn

Historical Examples of rough-hewn

  • The wall of the building was rough-hewn and ornamented with surplus carvings.

  • A man of the people, rough-hewn, narrow as a labor-leader may well be, earnest and sincere.


    Jack London

  • A rough-hewn resemblance is first brought about by a process of mutation.

    Mimicry in Butterflies

    Reginald Crundall Punnett

  • It suggests besides, that the universe is not rough-hewn, but perfect in its details.

    Excursions and Poems

    Henry David Thoreau

  • A hut of rough-hewn boards, painted red, Stands at the left.

British Dictionary definitions for rough-hewn


verb -hews, -hewing, -hewed, -hewed or -hewn (tr)

to cut or hew (timber, stone, etc) roughly without finishing the surface
Also: roughcast to shape roughly or crudely
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

Word Origin and History for rough-hewn

1520s, originally of timber, from rough-hew (v.); see rough (adj.) + hew (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper