Anything rocky is covered with rocks, like a rocky beach or hillside. You can also use rocky for something that moves in a bumpy or uneven manner, like a rocky ride in a Jeep.

There's a figurative sense of rocky that means "difficult, rough, or up-and-down" like your rocky relationship with your sister or a struggling business's rocky future. This meaning comes from a combination of the "uneven and covered with rocks" definition and the verb rock, or "sway back and forth." The Rocky Mountains, which aren't actually all that rocky, were named for the local Native American people, called "the stone Sioux" by their Cree neighbors.

Definitions of rocky
  1. adjective
    abounding in rocks or stones
    rocky fields”
    synonyms: bouldered, bouldery, stony
    rough, unsmooth
    having or caused by an irregular surface
  2. adjective
    causing or characterized by jolts and irregular movements
    synonyms: bumpy, jolting, jolty, jumpy, rough
    see moresee less
    of motion that runs or flows or proceeds without jolts or turbulence
  3. adjective
    full of hardship or trials
    “the rocky road to success”
    synonyms: rough
    difficult, hard
    not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure
  4. adjective
    liable to rock
    “on high rocky heels”
    lacking stability or fixity or firmness
Word Family

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