1. Having a rough irregular surface: rugged terrain.
2. Having strong features marked with furrows or wrinkles: the rugged face of the old sailor.
3. Having a sturdy build or strong constitution: a rugged trapper who spent months in the wilderness.
4. Tempestuous; stormy: the rugged weather of the North Atlantic.
5. Demanding great effort, ability, or endurance: the rugged conditions of barracks life.
6. Lacking culture or polish; coarse and rude: rugged manners and ribald wit.
[Middle English, shaggy, of Scandinavian origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.