Definition of rockwork in US English:



  • 1Ornamental or decorative work resembling rocks or shells.

  • 2Rocks and shells used to create ornamental figures and designs as decoration for a grotto or other garden feature. Compare "rocaille". Chiefly historical after 18th cent.

  • 3A natural mass or group of rocks.

  • 4Stones roughly piled together in imitation of natural rocks as an ornamental garden feature, especially a rockery.

  • 5Architecture. Masonry with a rough projecting face, giving the appearance of natural, freshly quarried rock. Compare rustic work. Now rare.

  • 6Rock climbing.


Early 17th century; earliest use found in William Foster (b. 1591), Church of England clergyman and writer. From rock + work.