Rocky Mount, city (1990 pop. 48,997), Edgecombe and Nash counties, E N.C., on the Tar River; settled by 1818, inc. 1867. The growing city is the commercial and distribution center of a rich agricultural area (tobacco, cotton, and corn) as well as a large tobacco market. Textiles, clothing, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals are manufactured there. North Carolina Wesleyan College is in the city.