Definition of rocky in English:



  • 1Consisting or full of rock or rocks.

    ‘a rocky crag above the village’
    ‘hillsides of dry, rocky soil’
    • ‘Designed for use in military training exercises, it was strangely unreal, featuring boxy, half-finished buildings plopped into a rocky terrain to which they seemed to bear no physical relationship.’
    • ‘You present a house on a rocky site over the Pacific Ocean.’
    • ‘The boat study highlights a steep ramp extending into the sea - a fragment of man-made geometry laid upon the barren and rocky shoreline.’
    • ‘That hope was soon dashed on the rocky shores of Scotland.’
    • ‘The building yields to its man-made landscape, and while sills rise above boulders as if the house was built around a rocky outcrop, maturing trees begin to screen and protect.’
    • ‘In this work, the viewer's attention is the mountain on which the flag extends from its peak down its rocky side, giving a sense of ruggedness to the image.’
    • ‘But as the water runs its course across the landscape, it dissolves soluble salts contained in rocky river beds, corridors, and canyons.’
    • ‘Beside this river, carved on the rocky cliffs, you can read inscriptions of Egyptian Pharaohs, Assyrian kings and Roman commanders.’
    • ‘Set on a rocky headland of the Southern Adriatic, the city of Dubrovnik presents a bulky carapace of freestone wall on bare rock to the open sea.’
    • ‘This is the heart of the Kona coffee belt, less than 50 square miles of steep, rocky terrain yielding 2.5 million pounds of beans a year.’
    • ‘The landscapes present expansive meadows, pine forests or rocky ridgelines; these paintings are seemingly bursting with fresh clean air and anchored by the visual weight of saturated colors.’
    • ‘Here, a rocky canyon spans the width of both panels.’
    • ‘They are replete with rocky crags, waterfalls, brooding skies and, in one case, a baleful moon straight out of a Caspar David Friedrich painting.’
    • ‘The rocky promontory at the top of the waterfall has long been regarded as one of the most romantic viewpoints in the mountains.’
    • ‘The only way to reach it is by two-lane roads, most of which twist tortuously through the scenic coastal mountain range or along the rocky Pacific coast.’
    • ‘Scenes set on Gabriel's island are stunning - clear blue skies, nice definition of the rocky crags and crashing waves.’
    • ‘Orphaned as a baby and now something of a wild spirit, she shares her secrets with Danny in their private place on the nearby rocky crags.’
    • ‘In his paintings, with their air-spun castles and dense, rocky crags, presented in thick, hazy, heavily impastoed surfaces, the world is remote and ever retreating.’
    • ‘The rows of pines obscuring the rocky vistas that they had once lovingly painted and the disappearance of the celebrated oaks infuriated the artists' colony.’
    • ‘Overlooking a beach on Spain's rocky north-west coast, this restaurant is a tactful presence in the landscape’
    stony, rock-strewn, pebbly, shingly, rough, bumpy, rugged, hard
    craggy, mountainous
    View synonyms
  • 2Tending to rock or shake; unsteady.

    • ‘The landing was fairly smooth, a bit rocky at times, but overall comfortable.’
    unsteady, shaky, unstable, wobbly, tottery, rickety, flimsy
    View synonyms
  • 3Difficult and full of obstacles or problems.

    ‘a long, rocky road to pop stardom’
    ‘the marriage seemingly got off to a rocky start’
    • ‘There are the star players who learn quickly and work confidently or those diamonds-in-the-rough who have rocky starts but turn into the best employees a business owner has ever had.’
    • ‘There were some rocky moments, but basically it's gone very well.’
    • ‘They enter into a rocky marriage and a manager-star relationship that lasts for 15 grueling years of physical and psychological abuse.’
    • ‘He leans into her ear and whispers the important lesson he's learned about life, a lesson that also helps Charlotte reconcile her rocky marriage.’
    • ‘After a rocky 2000-01 season, during which the ballet lost its lease on its studios and bounced from one temporary space to another, the company's ship is regaining its keel.’
    • ‘The newly unionized dancers of the ballet have already hit a rocky road with company management.’
    • ‘The gallery's rocky future means that no shows have been booked for 2001.’
    • ‘As these relationships progress, we learn of Jones' rocky history with his alcoholic mother and his desire to find the father he barely knew yet obsesses about daily.’
    • ‘If the rocky relationship between Dawson and Joey was an attempt to hash out the question of what the difference is between lovers and soul mates, this speech is the answer.’
    • ‘However, the process of learning in groups can be a rocky experience for both learners and teachers, no matter how interested they are in the topic at hand.’
    • ‘He steers clear of the build/bid approach, knowing that a contentious relationship between the owner and contractor signals a rocky road.’
    • ‘I also think the transition from childhood to adulthood is generally more rocky than we've seen.’
    • ‘Rumor has it that the film experienced a rocky production history.’
    • ‘It may have had a rocky road in its initial theatrical release, but the DVD format allows viewers to explore its unique world.’
    • ‘Of course, none of this would matter if the film itself didn't bear the marks of its rocky road to a theater near you so prominently.’
    • ‘In 1830 Louis Philippe returned the Pantheon to civic use, but for the first rocky decade of his reign not a single figure was buried there for fear of public protest.’
    • ‘The Oscar-nominated drama stars Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney as a couple dealing with the trials and tribulations of a rocky marriage.’
    • ‘The performance ultimately seemed to take the form of inter-band bickering in one of the member's living rooms after a particularly rocky practice session.’
    • ‘And like Terry, over the course of their rocky acquaintance Jean gains greater understanding and insight.’
    • ‘In one long flashback we are shown the rocky road of Seth and Chelsea's relationship leading up to the present moment.’
    difficult, up and down, problematic, precarious, unsteady, unstable, uncertain, unsure, unreliable, undependable, built on sand
    View synonyms