9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ruhf-uh n-tuhm-buh l] /ˈrʌf ənˈtʌm bəl/
characterized by violent, random, disorderly action and struggles:
a rough-and-tumble fight; He led an adventuresome, rough-and-tumble life.
given to such action.
rough and unrestrained competition, fighting, struggling, etc.
Origin of rough-and-tumble
1785-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rough-and-tumble
  • The early solar system was such a rough-and-tumble place.
  • Its origin is in tickling and rough-and-tumble play, he says.
  • Lighting up the universe is a rough-and-tumble business.
  • For a professor he was not averse to a little rough-and-tumble.
  • It also has fine senses of smell and touch, and thrusts itself into the rough-and-tumble of feeding and mating with alacrity.
  • Others suspect deeper trends behind the rough-and-tumble.
  • Pendleton was once a rough-and-tumble trading post with illicit underground bordellos and opium dens.
  • She enters a rough-and-tumble world whose newly arrived inhabitants are driven mad by gold fever.
  • If the greeters are both males, they sometimes proceed to more rough-and-tumble behavior.
British Dictionary definitions for rough-and-tumble


a fight or scuffle without rules
characterized by roughness, disorderliness, and disregard for rules or conventions
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for rough-and-tumble



Free and uninhibited; with no limits or reservations; no holds barred: It was a rough-and-tumble confrontation

[1832+; originally of a fight where the usual rules were not observed; an article of 1810 says that ''in roughing and tumbling it is allowable to peel the skull, tear out the eyes, and smooth away the nose'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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