Things That are Rough

Welcome to our list of things that are rough!

Rough is a descriptive term that is the opposite of smooth. It can refer to physical texture, feelings, and situations. We’ve done our best to cover as many of these varied meanings in this list for you, including images and a more detailed list with descriptions and meanings.

Here’s a visual list of things that are rough:

Here’s a longer and more detailed list of things that are rough, including meanings and descriptions:

  • Sandpaper: This is an abrasive paper used to rub and scrape the bumps out of surfaces to make them smooth.
  • Scouring Pad: These are rough sponges used to scrape dirt and sticky residue out of pots and sinks.
  • Emery Board: This is a piece of card that’s coated with an abrasive surface for use as a nail file.
  • Nail File: These are the same as emery boards, except they’re made of metal rather than paper and cardboard.
  • Asphalt: This is a semi-solid form of petroleum that’s commonly used in making roads. It has a rough texture, which helps car wheels grip on to it.
  • Granite: This is a type of rough and hard stone.
  • Limestone: Limestone is a rough, porous sedimentary rock.
  • Coconut: These are fruits that are covered with long, coarse hairs.
  • Coral: These are invertebrates that live in colonies underwater.
  • Rock: These are mineral solids that are generally tough, hard, with a rough surface.
  • Brick: These are building blocks made out of clay.
  • Coal: This is a combustible rock burned for fuel.
  • Tree Bark: Bark is the outermost part of a tree. It’s commonly bumpy and can peel off in sections, adding to the rough texture.
  • Bitumen: This is another word for asphalt.
  • Pavement: These are the walkways on either side of a road. They’re commonly made of concrete or cement and are textured for grip.
  • Velcro: This is a fastener based on hooks and loops that grip on to each other when joined. The tiny hooks and loops result in a rough texture.
  • Shark skin: Sharks are covered in tiny, pointed, tooth-shaped scales that protect them and result in a rough, mildly spiky surface.
  • Thorny Devil: This is a small lizard covered in bumps and spikes.
  • Pineapple: This is a sweet fruit covered in a spiky, rough skin.
  • Muesli Bar: These are bars made of mixed fruits, nuts and muesli. They have a rough texture to due the variety of hard foods mixed into it.
  • Avocado: Avocadoes are also known as “alligator pears” due to their bumpy, tough skin.
  • Barnacle: These grow in clusters on hard surfaces. They have a hard, shell-like exterior.
  • Pinecone: These are hard cones with many spiky protusions.
  • Lychee: These are small, sweet fruits with a tough, bumpy shell.
  • Armadillo: Armadillos are small animals covered in a leathery armour.
  • Rope: Rope is an abrasive braid of fibres.
  • Net: There are many different types of net, with the roughest type being the larger ones made with thicket ropes.
  • Cliff: This is a tall, nearly vertical face of rock.
  • Fossil: These are the preserved remains of once-living things.
  • Concrete: Concrete is composed of coarse particles mixed together with cement paste.
  • Cement: Cement is a hard binder used in construction, used to bind and harden other materials.
  • Exfoliant: Exfoliants are substances used to make an area smoother through abrasive rubbing.
  • Sugar Scrub: Sugar scrub is a type of facial exfoliant, with coarse sugar particles acting as the scrub.
  • Oyster: Oysters are molluscs with a hard, rough shell.
  • Hair: While hair is much softer than the other items on this list, there are different types of hair, with unhealthy, heat-treated hair considered to be rough and straw-like.
  • Fur: Though usually remembered as a soft surface, fur can be composed of tough, coarse hairs or thick bristles, giving it a rough texture.
  • Crocodile: These are covered in a thick, bumpy armour that is hard to damage.
  • Alligator: Alligators are very similar to crocodiles and are also protected by a tough, durable armour.
  • Antlers: Antlers are actually part of an animals skull. They have a bumpy, rough surface.
  • Rhinocerous: Rhinoceros have a thick, leathery, protective skin.
  • Elephant: Elephants are protected by a thick, rough hide.
  • Komodo Dragon: These are also known as Komodo Monitors and are covered in rough, scaly skin.
  • Buffalo Horns: Buffalos are bovine with rough hide and hard, ridged horns.
  • Rockmelon: Also known as cantaloupe, muskmelon and mushmelon. It has a hard rind with a raised, ridged pattern.
  • Honey Badger: Honey Badgers are rough in fur, attitude and lifestyle.
  • Crouton: These are pieces of baked or sauteed bread. They have a dry, crunchy texture.
  • Crunchy Peanut Butter: This is peanut butter with small, crushed bits of peanut mixed through.
  • Peanut: While peanuts themselves are smooth, they have a hard, ridged shell.
  • Toast: This is dry, crunchy bread.
  • Puffed Rice: While cooked rice is very soft, puffed rice has a crunchy texture and a rough surface.
  • Raisin: These are dried grapes. Due to their dehydration, their skin is leathery and they have a bumpy surface.
  • Cookie: While not always crunchy, cookies generally have an uneven surface, especially if mixed with fruits, nuts or chocolate chunks.
  • Multigrain Bread: Since multigrain bread is mixed with seeds and grain, it tends to have a rougher texture than other, softer breads.
  • Stale Bread: Stale bread is drier than fresh bread. This dryness combined with the porosity of bread results in a rough texture.
  • Rambutan: These are round fruits covered in long, stringy “hairs”.
  • Quince: These fruits have a thick, bumpy skin.
  • Rug: These are textiles used to decorate or add to the warmth of a room. Rugs tend to be rougher and more tightly woven than carpets.
  • Rust: This is iron oxide and has a bumpy, porous surface that can also flake off.
  • Skin: While skin is going to be softer than most of the materials and objects on this list, skin can be “rough” considered to other types of skin, especially skin that is affected by dryness, dermatitis or eczema.
  • Road: Roads are roughly textured to help cars grip and stay on course, even in bad weather.
  • Seas: Roughness in this context refers not to the surface of the water, but to the undulations and tide.
  • Lobster: Lobsters have hard, spiny shells, covered in bumps and ridges.
  • Turtle: These are small animals with ridged shells and tough, leathery skin.
  • Tortoise: Tortoises are similar to turtles, except they live on land and tend to be larger.
  • Crab: These are crustaceans with a ridged shell and bumpy armour.
  • Starfish: Also known as sea stars. They are invertebrates with a lumpy, granular surface.
  • Frill-Necked Lizard: These are small lizards with a frilled collar around their neck.
  • Walrus: Walruses have a tough, wrinkly hide.
  • Monitor Lizard: These are large lizards with a thick, scaly hide.
  • Bearded Lizard: Rather than an actual beard, these lizards have a spiny frill around their necks.
  • Dried Goji: When dried, goji berries turn hard and chewy with a ridged, dehydrated skin.
  • Seashell: Seashells feature many ridges and bumps on the outside, although they tend to be smooth on the inside.
  • Waves: In the context of waves, “rough” refers more to their nature than their physical texture. The larger, faster, or more violent a wave, the more it’s considered to be rough.
  • Almond: Almonds have a dry, ridged surface.
  • Walnut: These nuts have a hard, dimpled shell. The nut itself looks almost fluffy with the amount of lumps and bumps it features.
  • Pistachio: While the shell of a pistachio looks quite smooth, the nut itself is ridged and bumpy.
  • Kiwifruit: Kiwifruits have a tough skin coated with short, bristly hairs.
  • Lace: While lace may look soft and delicate, it is usually made from strong fibres, making it surprisingly scratchy and tough on the skin.
  • Burlap: This is a thick, scratchy, woven material made from jute or sisal fibres.
  • Calico: This is a strong woven fabric made from cotton. As the cotton is generally not fully processed, it might contain pieces of husk, which gives it a rough feel.
  • Chipboard: This is a type of cheap, light wood made from wood chips and shavings.
  • MDF: This is a cheap wood, usually found in sheets. While it looks smooth, it has a mildly scratchy and rough surface.
  • Sand: Since sand is hard and has sharp edges, many particles of it will have a rough feel.
  • Gila Monster: This is a large, venomous lizard with a scaly hide.
  • Chameleon: These are a much-loved lizard due to their ability to change colour. They are seen as a friendly, cute lizard and feature in cartoons and animations.
  • Watercolour Paper: Cold-pressed watercolour paper has a rough surface, which gives paintings added texture and visual interest.
  • Salak: This is the fruit of certain types of palm trees. It’s round and pear-shaped, with a spiky, rough surface.
  • Boar: These are also known as wild swine or wild pigs. They have shappy, bristly fur and strong tusks.
  • Pig: Pigs have thick hide and thick bristles.
  • Broccoli: This is a vegetable in the cabbage family topped with fluffy-looking florets.
  • Carrot: Carrots are root vegetables with a dry, bumpy skin.
  • Cauliflower: These are similar to broccoli, but tougher and white.
  • Carpet: While carpets are typically softer than rugs, some of them are made of rougher materials in other to more effectively warm the room they’re in.
  • Relationship: While a relationship cannot literally have a texture, this refers to relationships with frequent highs and lows – a rough relationship.
  • Attitude:If an attitude is mean or abrasive, it’s known as a rough attitude.
  • Temper: If a temper is quick or short, it’s considered to be a rough one.
  • Situation: While situations don’t have a physical shape, we consider them to be rough if they’re stressful, frustrating, or generally difficult.
  • Explanation: If an explanation is quick and sketchy and intended to give more of an outline than a thorough understanding, it’s called a “rough” explanation.
  • Climb: Rough climbs are ones that are rocky, uneven, effortful and difficult.
  • Sweet Potato: These are root vegetables with a dry, speckled, uneven skin.
  • Glitter: Glitter is small, reflective particles in different colours and shapes. While one piece of glitter by itself isn’t so rough, many pieces together are.
  • Yam: Yams are root vegetables with dry, tough skin.
  • Gesso: Gesso is used to prime canvas in order to prepare it for painting.
  • Canvas: Canvas is a woven material made out of cotton or linen and is used as a painting surface.
  • Weather: When weather is windy or stormy, it’s considered to be rough weather.
  • Textured Paint: While paint is usually smooth, it can be textured by adding grains or texturiser, or by stirring it with rough brushes and leaving it to dry.
  • Eczema: Eczema is a skin condition that makes skin scaly, dry and rough.
  • Cat’s Tongue: Cat’s tongues have tiny spines on them, which act as a little hairbrush when they groom.
  • Life: While life doesn’t technically have a physical texture, it’s considered rough if it frequently has difficult situations.
  • Language: If language is angry or features a lot of swearwords, it’s seen as rough language.
  • Scorpionfish: Scorpionfish are striped fish covered with frills, spines and bumps.
  • Crispbread: This is a flat, dry cracker, similar to a thick wafer.
  • Soursop: This is a green fruit covered in small, flexible spines.  
  • Ugli Fruit: This is also known as a Jamaican Tangelo. It has a thick, bumpy, heavily dimpled skin.
  • Ride: This can refer to both a literal ride (like a rollercoaster), or a situation which is expected to be difficult.
  • Yuzu: These are fruits with heavy dimples.
  • Ironbark: This is a type of tree with very furrowed, ridged bark.
  • Cobblestones: Cobblestone is a building material made out of smaller stones “cobbled” together.
  • Stringybark: This is a tree with stringy, tough, ridged bark.
  • Ginger: This is a root used to flavour food and tea. The exterior of the root is ridged, while the interior is rather granular to the point of being softly spiky.
  • Potato Chips: Potato chips are thin, sharp, brittle, and have a rough texture due to the tiny bubbles present in the chip.
  • Coffee Grounds: Grounds are a waste product from making coffee. It’s similar to roughly textured dirt.
  • Corn Chips: Corn chips are a snack food with a rough, crunchy texture.
  • Pecan: These are a sweet nut usually used in baking. They have a frilled, bumpy texture.
  • Mortar and Pestle: This is a cooking tool used to grind spices and herbs into finer grains, or to make pastes.
  • Peppercorn: Peppercorns are bumpy grains which are used to season food.
  • Dried Mushrooms: When mushrooms are dehydrated, they shrivel and harden, leaving them with a bumpy ridged appearance until they are soaked and rehydrated again.
  • Denim: Denim is a tough woven fabric that is used to make jeans. It has small ridges across the fabric.
  • Hessian: This is a coarse woven material.
  • Grosgrain: This is a ribbed fabric which is on the gentler side of the “rough” spectrum.
  • Tweed: Tweed is a coarse fabric made from wool.

We hope this list of things that are rough came in useful!

If there’s anything we missed, feel free to let us know by leaving a comment!

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