Old English ruh "rough, coarse (of cloth); hairy, shaggy; untrimmed, uncultivated," from West Germanic *rukhwaz "shaggy, hairy, rough" (source also of Middle Dutch ruuch, Dutch ruig, Old High German ruher, German rauh), from Proto-Germanic *rukhaz, perhaps from PIE *reue- "to smash, knock down, tear out, dig up" (source also of Sanskrit ruksah "rough;" Latin ruere "to rush, fall violently, collapse," ruina "a collapse;" Lithuanian raukas "wrinkle," rukti "to shrink").
The original -gh- sound was guttural, as in Scottish loch. Sense of "approximate" is first recorded c. 1600. Of places, "riotous, disorderly, characterized by violent action," 1863. Rough draft is from 1690s. Rough-and-ready is from 1810, originally military; rough-and-tumble (1810) is from a style of free-fighting.
late 15c., from rough (adj.). Related: Roughed; roughing. Phrase rough it "submit to hardships" (1768) is originally nautical:
To lie rough; to lie all night in one's clothes: called also roughing it. Likewise to sleep on the bare deck of a ship, when the person is commonly advised to chuse the softest plank. [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1788]
To rough out "shape or plan approximately" is from 1770. To rough up "make rough" is from 1763. To rough (someone) up "beat up, jostle violently" is from 1868. The U.S. football penalty roughing was originally a term from boxing (1866).
c. 1200, "broken ground," from rough (adj.). Meaning "a rowdy" is first attested 1837. Specific sense in golf is from 1901.
Phrase in the rough "in an unfinished or unprocessed condition" (of timber, etc.) is from 1620s, in rough diamond "diamond in its natural state," which was used figuratively, of persons, by 1700, hence diamond in the rough (by 1874 of persons, in the figurative sense "one whose good character is somewhat masked by rough manners and want of education or style").