rookie

[ roo k-ee ]
/ ˈrʊk i /

noun

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.

Nearby words

  1. rooibos tea,
  2. rooikat,
  3. rooinek,
  4. rook,
  5. rookery,
  6. rooky,
  7. room,
  8. room and board,
  9. room clerk,
  10. room divider

Origin of rookie

1890–95; alteration of recruit; see -y2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rookie


British Dictionary definitions for rookie

rookie

/ (ˈrʊkɪ) /

noun

informal an inexperienced person or newcomer, esp a raw recruit in the army

Word Origin for rookie

C20: changed from recruit

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 rookie

rookie

n.

"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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper