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  1. routine; a fixed, habitual, or mechanical course of procedure: the rote of daily living.
  1. proceeding mechanically and repetitiously; being mechanical and repetitious in nature; routine; habitual: rote performance; rote implementation; His behavior became more rote with every passing year.
  1. by rote, from memory, without thought of the meaning; in a mechanical way: to learn a language by rote.

Origin of rote1

1275–1325; Middle English; of obscure origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for roter

Historical Examples

  • I was only gettin orf a goak, but you roter hev seen the Old Kurnal jump up & howl.

    The Complete Works of Artemus Ward

    Charles Farrar Browne (AKA Artemus Ward)

British Dictionary definitions for roter


  1. a habitual or mechanical routine or procedure
  2. by rote by repetition; by heart (often in the phrase learn by rote)

Word Origin

C14: origin unknown


  1. an ancient violin-like musical instrument; crwth

Word Origin

C13: from Old French rote, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German rotta, Middle Dutch rotte
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

Word Origin and History for roter



c.1300, "custom, habit," in phrase bi rote "by heart," of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be connected with Old French rote "route" (see route (n.)), or from Latin rota "wheel" (see rotary), but OED calls both suggestions groundless.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with roter


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.