1. ride roughshod over, to treat harshly or domineeringly; override; crush: He rode roughshod over his friends to advance himself in the business world.

Origin of roughshod

First recorded in 1680–90; rough + shod Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for roughshod

Historical Examples of roughshod

  • She said finally, "We rode over him a little in the roughshod manner, didn't we?"

    Border, Breed Nor Birth

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • And when the squat steersman again stood up McKay went after him roughshod.

    The Pathless Trail

    Arthur O. (Arthur Olney) Friel

  • "It is dreadful to let Conti ride over me roughshod; and yet I can't defend myself," said Beatrix, in a low voice.


    Honore de Balzac

  • The Homer she had first known could never have ridden, roughshod, over the basically gentle Dr. Smythe.

    Border, Breed Nor Birth

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • Four times they called on their heavy sluggers and their best boxmen, but the Giants rode over them roughshod.

British Dictionary definitions for roughshod


  1. (of a horse) shod with rough-bottomed shoes to prevent sliding
  1. ride roughshod over to domineer over or act with complete disregard for
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 roughshod

also rough-shod, 1680s, from rough (adj.) + shod. Originally of horses shod with the nails projecting from the shoe, to prevent slipping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper