Also called runner. one of the curved pieces on which a cradle or a rocking chair, rocks.
a rock-'n'-roll song: She sang a ballad and followed that with two of her well-known rockers.
any of various devices that operate with a rocking motion.
Graphic Arts. a small steel plate with one curved and toothed edge for roughening a copperplate to make a mezzotint.
Mining. cradle ( def 13 ).
an ice skate that has a curved blade.
a performer or fan of rock music.
off one's rocker, Slang. insane; crazy: You're off your rocker if you think I'm going to climb that mountain.

1400–50; late Middle English: one who rocks a cradle; see rock2, -er1 Unabridged


2 [rok]
verb (used without object)
to move or sway to and fro or from side to side.
to be moved or swayed powerfully with excitement, emotion, etc.
Mining. (of sand or gravel) to be washed in a cradle.
to dance to or play rock music.
(of popular music) to have the driving beat characteristic of rock.
Slang. to be very good, impressive, exciting, or effective: This show really rocks.
verb (used with object)
to move or sway to and fro or from side to side, especially gently and soothingly.
to lull in security, hope, etc.
to affect deeply; stun; move or sway powerfully, as with emotion: Everyone in the courtroom was rocked by the verdict.
to shake or disturb violently: A thunderous explosion rocked the waterfront.
to stir up; animate: We're gonna rock this joint tonight!
to use, wear, or display (a look, garment, etc.) in a showy, self-confident manner and to great effect: Only you could rock that hat!
Graphic Arts. to roughen the surface of (a copperplate) with a rocker preparatory to scraping a mezzotint.
Mining. cradle ( def 22 ).
a rocking movement: the gentle rock of the boat.
rock-'n'-roll ( def 1 ).
rock-'n'-roll ( def 3 ).
rock the boat, Informal. to disrupt the smooth functioning or routine of something: Don't rock the boat by demanding special treatment from management.

before 1100; Middle English rocken, Old English roccian; cognate with Middle Dutch rocken; akin to German rücken; Old Norse rykkja to jerk

rockable, adjective
rockingly, adverb
unrocked, adjective

1. roll, shake. See swing1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rock1 (rɒk)
1.  geology igneous sedimentary See also metamorphic any aggregate of minerals that makes up part of the earth's crust. It may be unconsolidated, such as a sand, clay, or mud, or consolidated, such as granite, limestone, or coal
2.  any hard mass of consolidated mineral matter, such as a boulder
3.  chiefly (US), (Canadian), (Austral) a stone
4.  a person or thing suggesting a rock, esp in being dependable, unchanging, or providing firm foundation
5.  (Brit) a hard sweet, typically a long brightly-coloured peppermint-flavoured stick, sold esp in holiday resorts
6.  slang a jewel, esp a diamond
7.  short for rock salmon
8.  slang (plural) the testicles
9.  slang another name for crack
10.  between a rock and a hard place having to choose between two equally unpleasant alternatives
11.  on the rocks
 a.  in a state of ruin or destitution
 b.  (of drinks, esp whisky) served with ice
[C14: from Old French roche, of unknown origin]

rock2 (rɒk)
1.  to move or cause to move from side to side or backwards and forwards
2.  to reel or sway or cause (someone) to reel or sway, as with a violent shock or emotion
3.  (tr) to shake or move (something) violently
4.  (intr) to dance in the rock-and-roll style
5.  mining to wash (ore) or (of ore) to be washed in a cradle
6.  (tr) to roughen (a copper plate) with a rocker before engraving a mezzotint
7.  slang chiefly (US) (tr) to impress by wearing (an item of clothing) or playing (a musical instrument): She can still rock a miniskirt; He rocks a guitar like nobody’s business
8.  informal rock the boat to create a disturbance in the existing situation
9.  a rocking motion
10.  short for rock and roll
11.  Also called: rock music any of various styles of pop music having a heavy beat, derived from rock and roll
[Old English roccian; related to Middle Dutch, Old High German rocken, German rücken]

Rock (rɒk)
1.  an informal name for Gibraltar
2.  a Canadian informal name for Newfoundland

rocker (ˈrɒkə)
1.  See also rocker arm any of various devices that transmit or operate with a rocking motion
2.  another word for rocking chair
3.  either of two curved supports on the legs of a chair or other article of furniture on which it may rock
4.  a steel tool with a curved toothed cage, used to roughen the copper plate in engraving a mezzotint
5.  mining another word for cradle
6.  a.  an ice skate with a curved blade
 b.  the curve itself
7.  skating
 a.  a figure consisting of three interconnecting circles
 b.  a half turn in which the skater turns through 180°, so facing about while continuing to move in the same direction
8.  a rock-music performer, fan, or song
9.  (Brit) Compare mod an adherent of a youth movement rooted in the 1950s, characterized by motorcycle trappings
10.  slang off one's rocker crazy; demented

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"stone," O.E. rocc (in stanrocc "stone rock or obelisk"), also from O.N.Fr. roque, from M.L. rocca (767), from V.L. *rocca, of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be from Celtic (cf. Bret. roch). Seems to have been used in M.E. principally for rock formations as opposed to individual stones. Meaning
"precious stone, especially a diamond," is 1908, U.S. slang. Fig. use for "sure foundation" (especially with ref. to Christ) is from 1526. Meaning "crystalized cocaine" is attested from 1973, in West Coast U.S. slang. Rocks "ice cubes" is from 1946; slang meaning "testicles" is first recorded in phrase get (one's) rocks off "achieve intense satisfaction." On the rocks "ruined" is from 1889. Rock-bottom "lowest possible" is from 1856. Rock-salt is from 1707. Between a rock and a hard place first attested 1921, originally in Arizona. Rock-ribbed is from 1776, originally of land; fig. sense of "resolute" first recorded 1887.

"to sway," late O.E. roccian, related to O.N. rykkja "to pull, tear, move," Swed. rycka "to pull, pluck," M.Du. rucken, O.H.G. rucchan, Ger. rücken "to move jerkily." For musical senses, see rock (v.2). Rocking horse is first recorded 1724; rocking chair is from 1766.
To rock the boat is attested from 1931. Rock-a-bye first recorded 1805 in nursery rhyme.

"to dance to popular music with a strong beat," 1948 (first attested in song title "We're gonna rock"), from rock (v.1), in earlier blues slang sense of "to cause to move with musical rhythm" (1922); often used at first with sexual overtones (cf. 1922 song title "My Man Rocks
Me (with One Steady Roll)"). Sense developed early 1950s to "play or dance to rock and roll music." Noun sense of "musical rhythm characterized by a strong beat" is from 1946, in blues slang. Rocksteady, Jamaican pop music style (precursor of reggae), is attested from 1969.

"a rocking chair," 1852, Amer.Eng., from rock (v.); earlier "nurse charged with rocking a cradle" (c.1400). In sense of "one of the curved pieces of wood that makes a chair or cradle rock" it dates from 1787. Slang off (one's) rocker "crazy" first recorded 1897. Meaning "one who enjoys rock music" (as
opposed to mod) is recorded from 1963.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Rock (rŏk), John. 1890-1984.

American gynecologist and obstetrician who helped develop (1954) the first effective oral contraceptive.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
rock   (rŏk)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A relatively hard, naturally occurring mineral material. Rock can consist of a single mineral or of several minerals that are either tightly compacted or held together by a cementlike mineral matrix. The three main types of rock are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.

  2. A piece of such material; a stone.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Rock definition

(Heb. tsur), employed as a symbol of God in the Old Testament (1 Sam. 2:2; 2 Sam. 22:3; Isa. 17:10; Ps. 28:1; 31:2,3; 89:26; 95:1); also in the New Testament (Matt. 16:18; Rom. 9:33; 1 Cor. 10:4). In Dan. 2:45 the Chaldaic form of the Hebrew word is translated "mountain." It ought to be translated "rock," as in Hab. 1:12 in the Revised Version. The "rock" from which the stone is cut there signifies the divine origin of Christ. (See STONE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see off one's head (rocker).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
She sat in a rocker amid a debris of candy-boxes and cheap magazines, and she
  sounded dolorous when she did not sound derisive.
Here's some fast facts about the legendary heavy metal rocker.
The rocker's job is to be raucous, grab our attention.
She was a poet turned rocker, tapping and then redoubling the energy she found
  in basic three-chord songs.
Idioms & Phrases
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