between rock hard place


1 [rok]
a large mass of stone forming a hill, cliff, promontory, or the like.
mineral matter of variable composition, consolidated or unconsolidated, assembled in masses or considerable quantities in nature, as by the action of heat or water.
a particular kind of such matter: igneous rock.
stone in the mass: buildings that stand upon rock.
a stone of any size.
something resembling or suggesting a rock.
a firm foundation or support: The Lord is my rock.
Chiefly British. a kind of hard candy, variously flavored.
Often, rocks. Slang.
a piece of money.
a dollar bill.
a diamond.
any gem.
crack ( def 41 ).
a pellet or lump of crack.
between a rock and a hard place, between undesirable alternatives.
get one's rocks off, Slang: Vulgar. to have an orgasm.
on the rocks,
Informal. in or into a state of disaster or ruin: Their marriage is on the rocks.
Informal. without funds; destitute; bankrupt.
(of a beverage, especially liquor or a cocktail) with, or containing, ice cubes: Scotch on the rocks; a vodka martini on the rocks.

1300–50; 1905–10 for def 10; Middle English rokk(e) < Old French ro(c)que, roche (cf. roche alum); compare Spanish, Provençal roca, Italian rocca, Medieval Latin rocha, rocca (> late Old English -rocc in stānrocc “stone-rock”)

rockless, adjective
rocklike, adjective

boulder, cobblestone, granule, pebble, rock, stone. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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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

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.
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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