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[ruhf-uh n] /ˈrʌf ən/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to make or become rough or rougher.
Origin of roughen
1580-90; rough + -en1
Related forms
roughener, noun
unroughened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for roughen
Historical Examples
  • The face is a fine—even a noble—one, whose features the bronzed and weatherworn results of a hard life have failed to roughen.

    Renshaw Fanning's Quest Bertram Mitford
  • "And love has wings," he said, twisting his face comically to roughen the words.

    Yonder Emily Hilda Young
  • All the rest that roughen the surface, were onely so many marks of the rudeness and bungling of Art.

    Micrographia Robert Hooke
  • Do not use a knife in removing the paper, as it is likely to roughen the wood.

  • The sea is permitted to invite with smooth and tranquil surface to-day, to-morrow to roughen with wave and storm.

  • He had rather efface himself and his own interests for ever than roughen, by one additional pebble, my path to the grave!'

    Doctor Cupid Rhoda Broughton
  • A grisly mustache was just beginning to roughen the stranger's upper lip.

    Our Old Home Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • He tried jets of steam and of air with sand, and found that he could roughen a pane of glass almost instantly.

    Among the Forces Henry White Warren
  • Ma must not roughen her hands or the silks she worked with would be spoiled.

    Carl and the Cotton Gin Sara Ware Bassett
  • He had danced until his feet burned with fatigue, and there was the reaction from a month of worry to roughen his mood.

    The Gringos B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for roughen


to make or become rough
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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Word Origin and History for roughen

1580s, from rough (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Roughened; roughening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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