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Definition rock

Etymology 1

From Middle English rocke, rokke (“rock formation”), from Old English *rocc (“rock”), as in Old English stānrocc (“high stone rock, peak, obelisk”), and also later from Anglo-Norman roc, roce, roque (compare Modern French roc, roche, rocher), from Medieval Latin rocca (attested 767), from Vulgar Latin *rocca, of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be of Celtic (in particular, perhaps Gaulish [Term?]) origin (compare Breton roc'h).


rock (countable and uncountable, plural rocks)

  1. A formation of minerals, specifically:
    1. (uncountable) The naturally occurring aggregate of solid mineral matter that constitutes a significant part of the earth's crust.
    2. A mass of stone projecting out of the ground or water.
    3. (Britain) A boulder or large stone; or (US, Canada) a smaller stone; a pebble.
    4. (geology) Any natural material with a distinctive composition of minerals.
    5. (slang) A precious stone or gem, especially a diamond.
  2. A large hill or island having no vegetation.
  3. (figuratively) Something that is strong, stable, and dependable; a person who provides security or support to another.
  4. A lump or cube of ice.
  5. (Britain, uncountable) A type of confectionery made from sugar in the shape of a stick, traditionally having some text running through its length.
  6. (US, slang) A crystallized lump of crack cocaine.
  7. (US, slang) An unintelligent person, especially one who repeats mistakes.
  8. (South Africa, slang, derogatory) An Afrikaner.
  9. (US poker slang) An extremely conservative player who is willing to play only the very strongest hands.
  10. Any of several fish:
    1. The striped bass.
    2. The huss or rock salmon.
  11. (US, basketball, slang) A basketball.
  12. (rock paper scissors) A closed hand (a handshape resembling a rock), that beats scissors and loses to paper. It beats lizard and loses to Spock in rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock.
  13. (informal, cricket) A cricket ball, especially a new one that has not been softened by use

Etymology 2

From Middle English rokken, from Old English roccian, from Proto-Germanic *rukkōną (compare obsolete Dutch rokken, Middle High German rocken (“to drag, jerk”), Modern German rücken (“to move, shift”), Icelandic rukka (“to yank”)), from Proto-Germanic *rugnōną, from Proto-Indo-European *h₃ruk-néh₂, from *h₃runk- (compare Latin runcāre (“to weed”), Latvian rũķēt (“to toss, dig”)).


rock (third-person singular simple present rocks, present participle rocking, simple past and past participle rocked)

  1. (transitive and intransitive) To move gently back and forth.
  2. (transitive) To cause to shake or sway violently.
  3. (intransitive) To sway or tilt violently back and forth.
  4. (transitive and intransitive, of ore etc.) To be washed and panned in a cradle or in a rocker.
  5. (transitive) To disturb the emotional equilibrium of; to distress; to greatly impact (most often positively).
  6. (intransitive) To do well or to be operating at high efficiency.
  7. (slang, transitive, euphemistic) to make love to or have sex with.

rock (plural rocks)

  1. An act of rocking; a rocking motion; a sway.

Etymology 3

Shortened from rock and roll. Since the meaning of rock has adapted to mean a simpler, more modern, metal-like genre, rock and roll has generally been left referring to earlier forms such as that of the 1950s, notably more swing-oriented style.


rock (uncountable)

  1. A style of music characterized by basic drum-beat, generally 4/4 riffs, based on (usually electric) guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocals.

rock (third-person singular simple present rocks, present participle rocking, simple past and past participle rocked)

  1. (intransitive) To play, perform, or enjoy rock music, especially with a lot of skill or energy.
  2. (intransitive, slang) To be very favourable or skilful; excel; be fantastic.
  3. (transitive) to thrill or excite, especially with rock music
  4. (transitive) to do something with excitement yet skillfully
  5. (transitive) To wear (a piece of clothing, outfit etc.) successfully or with style; to carry off (a particular look, style).

Etymology 4

From Middle English rok, rocke, rokke, perhaps from Middle Dutch rocke (whence Dutch rok), Middle Low German rocken, or Old Norse rokkr (whence Icelandic / Faroese rokkur, Danish rok, Swedish spinnrock (“spinning wheel”)). Cognate with Old High German rocko (“distaff”).


rock (countable and uncountable, plural rocks)

  1. (countable) Distaff.
  2. (uncountable) The flax or wool on a distaff.

Etymology 5


rock (plural rocks)

  1. Archaic form of roc (mythical bird)

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