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diamond in the rough

A person or thing with exceptional qualities or characteristics that cannot be seen from the surface. The new employee initially seemed to lack confidence, but after seeing how hard he works, we realized that he's a diamond in the rough and is really a great asset to the company.
See also: diamond, rough

rough diamond

Someone or something that is unrefined but has many exceptional aspects or underlying potential. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. The young actor was a rough diamond. With some training, she'd become a superstar.
See also: diamond, rough

diamond cut diamond

A situation in which two equally sly or devious people spar or interact. Primarily heard in UK. It's always diamond cut diamond when those two schemers get together.
See also: cut, diamond

diamond in the rough

Fig. a person who has good qualities despite a rough exterior; a person with great potential. Sam looks a little scruffy, but he's a diamond in the rough. He's a diamond in the rough—a little hard to take at times, but very smart and helpful.
See also: diamond, rough

diamond in the rough

Also, a rough diamond. A person of exceptional character or potential but lacking polish and refinement. For example, Jack is intelligent and trustworthy but lacks manners-he's a diamond in the rough. [Early 1600s]
See also: diamond, rough

a rough diamond

mainly BRITISH or

a diamond in the rough

AMERICAN
1. If you call someone, especially a man a rough diamond, you admire their good qualities, even though they are not very polite or well-educated. Note: A rough diamond is a diamond that has not yet been cut and polished. Marden was the rough diamond of the three, feared for his ruthlessness but respected for his First World War Military Cross. I liked Neil Murphy, who is somewhat of a diamond in the rough.
2. If you call someone or something a rough diamond, you mean that they have talent or good qualities which are hidden or not well developed and could be developed more. Note: A rough diamond is a diamond that has not yet been cut and polished. British first novels are more likely to be rough diamonds, with flashes of inspiration in an imperfect whole. When I heard this lady sing, I ran to the theater, and I said, `Chick, I found myself a diamond in the rough.'
See also: diamond, rough

diamond cut diamond

a situation in which a sharp-witted or cunning person meets their match. British
1863 Charles Reade Hard Cash He felt…sure his employer would outwit him if he could; and resolved it should be diamond cut diamond.
See also: cut, diamond

a rough diamond

a person who has genuinely fine qualities but uncouth manners. informal
Literally, a rough diamond is a diamond before it has been cut and polished. A North American variant of this expression is a diamond in the rough .
See also: diamond, rough

a ˌrough ˈdiamond

(British English) (American English a ˌdiamond in the ˈrough) a person who has many good qualities even though they do not seem to be very polite, educated, etc: Don’t be put off by your first impressions — he’s something of a rough diamond.
A rough diamond is a diamond that has not yet been cut or polished.
See also: diamond, rough

diamond in the rough

n. a person who is wonderful despite a rough exterior; a person with great potential. He’s a diamond in the rough—a little hard to take at times, but okay mostly.
See also: diamond, rough

diamond in the rough

One having exceptionally good qualities or the potential for greatness but lacking polish and refinement.
See also: diamond, rough

diamond in the rough

A basically admirable person who is full of potential, but lacks the social graces. The image is that of a raw gemstone that, once cut and polished, will shine.
See also: diamond, rough
References in periodicals archive ?
In terms of criminal exploitation of diamonds and jewelry, no other continent has such favorable conditions for product acquisition and for converting the proceeds of crime.
What we hope comes out of it is that people will indeed check the source of their diamonds and know that, as consumers, they have power.
People on Bay Street don't believe there are diamonds in Northern Ontario.
Manufacturers have long made artificial diamonds by pressing graphite at high temperature and pressure.
You can't wage war without money, and diamonds are money," says Willy Kingombe Idi, who buys diamonds from diggers in Congo.
And over the past decade, geologists have uncovered impact diamonds in more than half a dozen giant craters around the globe.
Legend controls over 19,000 square kilometers of diamond prospective tenements adjacent to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory.
A prospector took a chance on some odd looking rocks and surprisingly they were diamonds carrying the same content as those found in Wawa, "so a company called Cabo Mining Corp.
sanctions and humanitarian organizations' efforts to keep conflict diamonds off the market haven't been effective.
Rapaport International Diamond Conference - New York - Monday, February 5
The rocks from which these diamond samples have been extracted are not typically known to be host for diamonds, he says.
With diamond anvils, researchers squeeze materials to extraordinarily high pressures.
LifeGem Created Diamonds offers a responsible alternative to diamonds mined from the earth by creating high quality diamonds from a unique and meaningful carbon source.
Less than 30 per cent of kimberiltes contain diamonds and fewer than one in 200 of the world's found kimberlites have been developed into mines.
The trick to making diamonds from peanut butter, or, more reasonably, from graphite -- diamond's all-carbon mineralogic sister -- initially lay in recreating the high temperatures and gargantuan pressures that produce diamond within the earth.