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[roost] /rust/
a perch upon which birds or fowls rest at night.
a large cage, house, or place for fowls or birds to roost in.
a place for sitting, resting, or lodging.
verb (used without object)
to sit or rest on a roost, perch, etc.
to settle or stay, especially for the night.
come home to roost, (of an action) to revert or react unfavorably to the doer; boomerang:
an evil deed that came home to roost and ruined his life.
rule the roost, to be in charge or control; dominate:
It was only too apparent that his grandfather ruled the roost.
Origin of roost
before 1100; Middle English roost (noun), Old English hrōst; cognate with Middle Dutch roest
Related forms
unroosted, adjective
unroosting, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for roosted
Historical Examples
  • Then, on being called, the bird settled and roosted on the ground beside him.

    Birds in the Calendar Frederick G. Aflalo
  • These roosted in the trees at night and so escaped the plentiful foxes.

    Face to Face with Kaiserism

    James W. Gerard
  • As they all roosted like chickens on the beams, there sounded a footstep just outside.

    Everyday Adventures Samuel Scoville
  • Parrots jabbered and a few of them roosted in the iguana tree.

    When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett
  • Then he flew to the highest perch he could find in the room, and roosted for the night.

    The Children's Book of Birds Olive Thorne Miller
  • Whin they saw me making a move they jumped back and roosted on the rail.

    The Goddess of Atvatabar William R. Bradshaw
  • She had become sleepy and now she flew down and roosted under the table.

  • He said he couldn't "tum down, betause the roosted was on his feets."

    The William Henry Letters

    Abby Morton Diaz
  • Stories were told of her dirt and shiftlessness, of the hens which roosted in her kitchen.

    Pembroke Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • Now the cocks and hens many of them roosted under the house, which was built on pillars, and set some distance above the ground.

    Queensland Cousins Eleanor Luisa Haverfield
British Dictionary definitions for roosted


a place, perch, branch, etc, where birds, esp domestic fowl, rest or sleep
a temporary place to rest or stay
rule the roost, See rule (sense 20)
(intransitive) to rest or sleep on a roost
(intransitive) to settle down or stay
come home to roost, to have unfavourable repercussions
Word Origin
Old English hrōst; related to Old Saxon hrost loft, German Rost grid


the Roost, a powerful current caused by conflicting tides around the Shetland and Orkney Islands
Word Origin
C16: from Old Norse röst
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for roosted



late Old English hrost "wooden framework of a roof, perch for domestic fowl," from Proto-Germanic *hro(d)-st- (cf. Old Saxon hrost "framework of a roof, attic," Middle Dutch, Flemish, Dutch roest "roost," Old Norse hrot, Gothic hrot "roof," of unknown origin. Exact relationship and ulterior connections unknown. Extended sense "hen-house" is from 1580s. To rule the roost is recorded from 1769.



1520s, from roost (n.). Related: Roosted; roosting. Chickens come home to roost in reference to eventual consequences of bad actions attested from 1824; the original proverb seems to have been curses, like chickens, come home to roost.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for roosted



One's home; pad (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with roosted
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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