Definition of rough someone up in US English:

rough someone up

phrasal verb

  • Beat someone up.

    • ‘Fearing that the criminal would return and rough me up, I blew on my crime whistle to wake my neighbors for help.’
    • ‘There the recruits were forced to kneel against the wall, where they were roughed up and drenched with cold water.’
    • ‘The evening in question, I'd been cornered by a trio of thugs, who took great delight in roughing me up.’
    • ‘Bob thinks Decker is attempting to brainwash Sandra, so he roughs Decker up.’
    • ‘And Darrow then turns on Mencken and roughs him up rhetorically.’
    • ‘The pizzas are knocked flying as the thugs nab Stan and start roughing him up.’
    • ‘For the second start in a row, on Saturday night they made short work of the 39-year-old Yankee starter in their domicile, roughing him up for four runs and knocking him out after two innings.’
    • ‘Failing to do this will result in Internet thugs coming to your house and roughing you up.’
    • ‘So, since the gangsters know they can get away with it they try to rough her up.’
    • ‘She ran a hand through her hair and felt the cut where she had been roughed up by Derek.’
    beat up, beat, attack, assault, knock about, knock around, maltreat, mistreat, abuse, batter, manhandle
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