[ root, rout ]
See synonyms for route on
  1. a course, way, or road for passage or travel: What's the shortest route to Boston?

  2. a customary or regular line of passage or travel: There's a ship from our company on the North Atlantic route.

  1. a specific itinerary, round, or number of stops regularly visited by a person in the performance of their work or duty: a newspaper route;a mail carrier's route.

verb (used with object),rout·ed, rout·ing.
  1. to set the path of: to route a tour.

  2. to send or forward by a particular course or road: It's the post office's job to route mail to its proper destination.

Idioms about route

  1. go the route, Informal.

    • to see something through to completion: It was a tough assignment, but he went the route.

    • Baseball. to pitch the complete game: The heat and humidity were intolerable, but the pitcher managed to go the route.

Origin of route

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English: “way, course,” from Old French, from Latin rupta (via) “broken (road),” feminine past participle of rumpere “to break”; cf. rout1

Other words for route

Other words from route

  • mis·route, verb (used with object), mis·rout·ed, mis·rout·ing.
  • pre·route, verb (used with object), pre·rout·ed, pre·rout·ing.
  • re·route, verb, re·rout·ed, re·rout·ing.

Words that may be confused with route Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use route in a sentence

  • After World War II, interstate highways opened, and new bypasses rerouted life away from cloistered downtowns.

    The Dark Side of the Midwest | Justin Green | April 24, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Westbound green was still being rerouted into the slower white lane, around the scene of the accident.

    Code Three | Rick Raphael
  • From these cities migrants were rerouted along the lines most in favor.

British Dictionary definitions for route


/ (ruːt) /

  1. the choice of roads taken to get to a place

  2. a regular journey travelled

  1. (capital) US a main road between cities: Route 66

  2. mountaineering the direction or course taken by a climb

  3. med the means by which a drug or agent is administered or enters the body, such as by mouth or by injection: oral route

verbroutes, routing, routeing or routed (tr)
  1. to plan the route of; send by a particular route

Origin of route

C13: from Old French rute, from Vulgar Latin rupta via (unattested), literally: a broken (established) way, from Latin ruptus broken, from rumpere to break, burst

usage For route

When forming the present participle or verbal noun from the verb to route it is preferable to retain the e in order to distinguish the word from routing, the present participle or verbal noun from rout 1, to defeat or rout 2, to dig, rummage: the routeing of buses from the city centre to the suburbs . The spelling routing in this sense is, however, sometimes encountered, esp in American English

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