Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

roost

[roost]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a perch upon which birds or fowls rest at night.
  2. a large cage, house, or place for fowls or birds to roost in.
  3. a place for sitting, resting, or lodging.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to sit or rest on a roost, perch, etc.
  2. to settle or stay, especially for the night.
Show More
Idioms
  1. 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.
  2. rule the roost, to be in charge or control; dominate: It was only too apparent that his grandfather ruled the roost.
Show More

Origin of roost

before 1100; Middle English roost (noun), Old English hrōst; cognate with Middle Dutch roest
Related formsun·roost·ed, adjectiveun·roost·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for rule the roost

roost

noun
  1. a place, perch, branch, etc, where birds, esp domestic fowl, rest or sleep
  2. a temporary place to rest or stay
  3. rule the roost See rule (def. 20)
Show More
verb
  1. (intr) to rest or sleep on a roost
  2. (intr) to settle down or stay
  3. come home to roost to have unfavourable repercussions
Show More

Word Origin

Old English hrōst; related to Old Saxon hrost loft, German Rost grid

Roost

noun
  1. the Roost a powerful current caused by conflicting tides around the Shetland and Orkney Islands
Show More

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

Word Origin and History for rule the roost

roost

n.

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.

Show More

roost

v.

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rule the roost in Culture

rule the roost

To dominate; to be in charge: “Even though Sally has five older brothers, she still rules the roost.”

Show More
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with rule the roost

rule the roost

Be in charge, boss others, as in In our division the chairman's son rules the roost. This expression originated in the 15th century as rule the roast, which was either a corruption of rooster or alluded to the person who was in charge of the roast and thus ran the kitchen. In the barnyard a rooster decides which hen should roost near him. Both interpretations persisted for 200 years. Thomas Heywood (c. 1630) put it as “Her that ruled the roast in the kitchen,” but Shakespeare had it in 2 Henry VI (1:1): “The new-made duke that rules the roast,” which is more ambiguous. In the mid-1700s roost began to compete with roast, and in the 1900s roost displaced roast altogether. Also see run the show.

Show More

roost

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