Definition of roughhouse in English:


Pronunciation /ˈrʌfhaʊz//ˈrʌfhaʊs/


[no object]
Pronunciation /ˈrʌfhaʊz//ˈrʌfhaʊs/
North American
  • 1Act in a boisterous, violent manner.

    ‘they roughhouse on street corners’
    • ‘Every day we rough-house or play tag for a half hour, and on weekends we play for hours, walk around the mall or go to the park.’
    • ‘They sat down on the front porch, and watched the other three boys wrestle and rough house in the yard.’
    • ‘Squeak asked as he bent down to rough house with Buddy.’
    • ‘Some people will warn you about a poodle's general fragility but I could still rough-house with him and he would regularly go on 3-mile runs.’
    • ‘I was glad I had the car all to myself, glad I didn't have a worrying wife beside me or a couple kids rough-housing in the back seat.’
    • ‘Did you break this lamp rough-housing around the house?’
    brawl, come to blows, exchange blows, assault each other, attack each other, hit each other, punch each other
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Handle (someone) roughly or violently.
      ‘he had them roughhoused by his servants’
      • ‘In that one Mitchell tried to rough house John.’
      • ‘Fathers step in to socialize their toddlers along gender lines at around 13 months, verbally rough-housing their sons and talking in more emotional terms with daughters.’
      • ‘Would you rather me rough house you, or treat you like a queen?’


Pronunciation /ˈrʌfhaʊs/
North American
  • A violent disturbance.

    ‘I shouldn't like to be up against you in a roughhouse’
    • ‘If it turned into a rough-house later someone tell me - I've still got the video.’
    • ‘That latter demand turned the Security Council into a rough house that saw one country lean heavily on smaller and more vulnerable members.’
    fight, scuffle, fracas, brawl, struggle, tussle, fist fight, fisticuffs, melee, scrimmage, free-for-all, free fight, affray, fray, riot, skirmish, exchange, clash, encounter
    View synonyms