- an athlete playing his or her first season as a member of a professional sports team: The rookie replaced the injured regular at first base.
- a raw recruit, as in the army or on a police force.
- a novice; tyro.
Origin of rookie
Examples from the Web for rookie
The Lion Air captain had left his rookie copilot to make the landing until he realized he was in trouble.Annoying Airport Delays Might Prevent You From Becoming the Next AirAsia 8501
January 6, 2015
They castigated the captain, a 48-year-old Indonesian, and his rookie copilot, a 24-year-old Indian.Who Will Get AsiaAir 8501’s Black Boxes?
December 30, 2014
One of the rookie officers, Peter Liang, was walking with a flashlight in one hand and his gun in the other.New York's Next Killer-Cop Grand Jury
December 6, 2014
A 28-year-old gunned down in a dark, New York City hallway by a rookie cop who apparently made a fatal mistake.Raging Protesters Set Ferguson on Fire
November 25, 2014
Still, he was locked into his rookie contract, and had to ride out two more dysfunctional seasons of the show.Ben McKenzie’s Journey From Reluctant Teen Idol on ‘The O.C.’ to Sheriff of ‘Gotham’
November 4, 2014
And he wasn't forgetting Keesey, the rookie who'd replaced him.The Hoofer
Walter M. Miller
"Rookie" is the term by which a new recruit is designated in Army slang.
Is it allowable, Sergeant, for a rookie to ask what this is all about?
Yet I am convinced that what will best control the Plattsburg rookie is the Plattsburg non-com.At Plattsburg
Then he was just a busher, a rookie, a nobody who had his reputation yet to win.Baseball Joe on the Giants
- informal an inexperienced person or newcomer, esp a raw recruit in the army
Word Origin and History for rookie
"raw recruit," 1892 in that spelling, popularized by Kipling's "Barrack-Room Ballads," of uncertain origin, perhaps from recruit, influenced by rook (n.1) in its secondary sense, suggesting "easy to cheat." Barrère ["A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant," 1890] has "Rookey (army), a recruit; from the black coat some of them wear," so perhaps directly from rook (n.1). Came into general use in American English during the Spanish-American War.
The rapid growth of a word from a single seed transplanted in a congenial soil is one of the curiosities of literature. Take a single instance. A few weeks ago there was not one American soldier in a thousand who knew there was such a word as "rookey." To-day there are few soldiers and ex-soldiers who have not substituted it for "raw recruit." ["The Midland Monthly," December 1898]