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rough (one) up
To use physical violence against someone; to push someone around with physical force. The mob boss sent around a couple of goons to rough Thomas up for not paying them protection money. I managed to get video footage of the police roughing the man up on the street before arresting him.
rough someone up
to beat someone up; to maltreat someone. Am I going to have to rough you up, or will you cooperate? The crooks roughed up the old lady before taking her purse.
rough something up
to scrape or rub something in a way that makes it rough. All you have to do is rough the ground up, sow the seeds, and then water them. Rough up the surface a little before you paint it.
Manhandle, subject to physical abuse, as in The gang was about to rough him up when the police arrived. [First half of 1900s]
1. To cause something to become less smooth: Rough the wood up so that the glue will hold better. The ice skates roughed up the surface of the ice.
2. To treat someone roughly or with physical violence; manhandle someone: The bully roughed up one of the kids on the playground. They threatened to rough me up if I didn't give them the money.