be rough on (someone or something)(redirected from were rough on)
be rough on (someone or something)
1. To treat someone or something very harshly or severely; to attack someone or something verbally or physically. You don't need to be so rough on the kids when they misbehave. The sheriff has a reputation for being rough on suspects when he makes an arrest.
2. To have a harsh, deleterious effect on someone or something; to cause harm or difficulty for someone or something. I know that the move has been rough on the kids, but they'll come to terms with it before too long. The weather in this part of the country is rough on machines, so you need to keep your equipment well serviced as often as possible.
rough on, be
1. Be harmful to or difficult for, as in The harsh winter has been rough on the highways, or Their divorce was rough on the whole family.
2. Treat harshly, be severe with, as in The police have been very rough on house-breakers, or Don't be too rough on Sam; he's only a child. Both colloquial usages date from the second half of the 1800s.
See also: rough