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red rover

a children's game in which two teams, some distance apart, face each other and take turns designating an opposing player to run toward their line. Any player who fails to break through their clasped hands becomes a member of that team.
Origin of red rover
An Americanism dating back to 1890-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for red rover
Historical Examples
  • The red rover is still a captive, and each day brings the great game nearer.

    The Galloping Ghost Roy J. Snell
  • Drew,” he said after a long silence, “why did they snatch the red rover?

    The Galloping Ghost Roy J. Snell
  • George put an end to the conversation by announcing that it was time they got the "red rover" out.

  • “It has to do with the kidnaping of the red rover,” Johnny explained.

    The Galloping Ghost Roy J. Snell
  • The radio, the press, and after that every man, woman and child would take up the cry: “The red rover has been found!”

    The Galloping Ghost Roy J. Snell
  • "All the same, I will retain the key," assured the red rover.

    Deadwood Dick Jr. Branded Ed. L. Wheeler
  • The "red rover" had taken a sudden dive to the left, colliding with an anchored sailboat.

  • red rover was magnificent, trained to a hair, full of life and fire.

    The Preacher of Cedar Mountain Ernest Thompson Seton
  • Both recognized him as the man they had seen while the "red rover" lay hidden in the creek.

  • "There's no 'red rover' on the other end of this rope, Harriet," she cried.

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