Rugged individualism


Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect

Rugged individualism, derived from "individualism", is a term that indicates the ideal whereby an individual is totally self-reliant and independent from outside, usually state or government, assistance. While the term is often associated with the notion of laissez-faire and associated adherents it was actually coined by American President, Herbert Hoover, who presided over the emerging Great Depression.

Rugged individualism - Wikipedia

How can I interpret “rugged” in “rugged individualism”? Does "rugged" refer to a person's lifestyle or does it refer to a person's character?

rugged adj.
1.having a roughly broken or jagged surface
2.roughly irregular or hard in form, as by having wrinkles
3.rough, harsh, or severe
4.capable of lasting through hardship, wear, etc.
5.requiring great strength, ability, patience, etc.
rugged - Dictionary of English
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    I would say that definition 4 is the closest here – remembering that it refers to a person.

    It basically means 'tough' (relating to the person's character).
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