[ noun ruhf-hous; verb ruhf-hous, -houz ]
See synonyms for: roughhouseroughhousedroughhousing on

noun,plural rough·hous·es [ruhf-hou-ziz]. /ˈrʌfˌhaʊ zɪz/.
  1. rough, disorderly playing, especially indoors.

verb (used without object),rough·housed [ruhf-houst, -houzd], /ˈrʌfˌhaʊst, -ˌhaʊzd/, rough·hous·ing [ruhf-hou-sing, -zing]. /ˈrʌfˌhaʊ sɪŋ, -zɪŋ/.
  1. to engage in rough, disorderly play.

verb (used with object),rough·housed [ruhf-houst, -houzd], /ˈrʌfˌhaʊst, -ˌhaʊzd/, rough·hous·ing [ruhf-hou-sing, -zing]. /ˈrʌfˌhaʊ sɪŋ, -zɪŋ/.
  1. to handle roughly but with playful intent: to roughhouse the cat.

Origin of roughhouse

An Americanism dating back to 1885–90; rough + house Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use roughhouse in a sentence

  • So that, while the boy who does not play "snappy" and hard cannot rank high, neither can the boy who plays "rough-house."

  • Said he liked things lively, but there was altogether too much rough-house on Beacon Hill for him.

  • Home rule would mean home rough-house—and a most beautiful argument it would be, enforced with shillalah logic.

  • If there's any more o' this rough house, I'll run in every one o' you!

    The Walking Delegate | Leroy Scott
  • The way Im in wrong with the college, and now this new rough-house with Laura, will certainly put the crimp in me.

    Cursed | George Allan England

British Dictionary definitions for roughhouse


/ (ˈrʌfˌhaʊs) slang /

  1. rough, disorderly, or noisy behaviour

  1. to treat (someone) in a boisterous or rough way

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