having a roughly broken, rocky, hilly, or jagged surface: rugged ground.
(of a face) wrinkled or furrowed, as by experience or the endurance of hardship.
roughly irregular, heavy, or hard in outline or form; craggy: Lincoln's rugged features.
rough, harsh, or stern, as persons or nature.
full of hardship and trouble; severe; hard; trying: a rugged life.
tempestuous; stormy: rugged weather.
harsh to the ear: rugged sounds.
rude, uncultivated, or unrefined.
homely or plain: rugged fare.
capable of enduring hardship, wear, etc.; strong and tough: rugged floor covering; a rugged lumberjack.

1300–50; Middle English < Scandinavian; compare Swedish rugga to roughen (of cloth); cf. rug

ruggedly, adverb
ruggedness, noun
unrugged, adjective

1. uneven, irregular, craggy. 4. austere. 6. turbulent. 7. grating, cacophonous. 8. unpolished, crude.

1. smooth. 4. mild. 10. frail. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rugged (ˈrʌɡɪd)
1.  having an uneven or jagged surface
2.  rocky or steep: rugged scenery
3.  (of the face) strong-featured or furrowed
4.  rough, severe, or stern in character
5.  without refinement or culture; rude: rugged manners
6.  involving hardship; harsh: he leads a rugged life in the mountains
7.  difficult or hard: a rugged test
8.  (of equipment, machines, etc) designed to withstand rough treatment or use in rough conditions: a handheld rugged computer which can survive being submerged in water
9.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) sturdy or strong; robust
[C14: from Scandinavian; compare Swedish rugga to make rough]

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

early 14c., "rough, shaggy, careworn" (originally of animals), from O.N. rogg "shaggy tuft" (see rug). "The precise relationship to ragged is not quite clear, but the stem is no doubt ultimately the same" [OED]. Meaning "strong, robust" is Amer.Eng., 1848.
"We were challenged with a peace-time choice between the American system of rugged individualism and a European philosophy of diametrically opposed doctrines -- doctrines of paternalism and state socialism." [Herbert Hoover, 1928]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Rugged mountains and untamed forest came to represent a country that wanted to
  see itself as strong and fertile.
She notes that the traditional view of society as a collection of rugged
  individualists is wrong.
Beyond a chain of rugged mountains, it swings south and then west.
Great storm protection and four-season mountaineering features in a rugged
  design made for two.
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