• synonyms


[room, room]
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  1. a portion of space within a building or other structure, separated by walls or partitions from other parts: a dining room.
  2. rooms, lodgings or quarters, as in a house or building.
  3. the persons present in a room: The whole room laughed.
  4. space or extent of space occupied by or available for something: The desk takes up too much room.
  5. opportunity or scope for something: room for improvement; room for doubt.
  6. status or a station in life considered as a place: He fought for room at the top.
  7. capacity: Her brain had no room for trivia.
  8. Mining. a working area cut between pillars.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to occupy a room or rooms; lodge.
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Origin of room

before 900; Middle English roum(e), Old English rūm; cognate with Dutch ruim, German Raum
Related formsun·der·room, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

place, area, apartment, office, cave, chamber, den, lodging, suite, cubicle, accommodation, cabin, sweep, vastness, leeway, capacity, latitude, scope, territory, sway

Examples from the Web for room

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Uncle Peter stood in a flood of light at the door of his room.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He began to pace the floor again from one room to the other.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Mauburn had gone to his room to be alone with this bitter news.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Jumping over the window sill, the visitor found himself in this room.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • "It is eighteen years since I was last in this room," he said.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

British Dictionary definitions for room


  1. space or extent, esp unoccupied or unobstructed space for a particular purposeis there room to pass?
  2. an area within a building enclosed by a floor, a ceiling, and walls or partitionssitting room; dining room
  3. (functioning as singular or plural) the people present in a roomthe whole room was laughing
  4. (foll by for) opportunity or scoperoom for manoeuvre
  5. (plural) a part of a house, hotel, etc, that is rented out as separate accommodation; lodgingsshe got rooms in town
  6. a euphemistic word for lavatory (def. 1)
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  1. (intr) mainly US to occupy or share a room or lodgingwhere does he room?
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Derived Formsroomer, noun

Word Origin

Old English rūm; related to Gothic, Old High German rūm
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 room


Old English rum "space" (extent or time); "scope, opportunity," from Proto-Germanic *ruman (cf. Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old High German, Gothic rum, German Raum "space," Dutch ruim "hold of a ship, nave"), nouns formed from Germanic adjective *ruma- "roomy, spacious," from PIE root *reue- "to open; space" (cf. Avestan ravah- "space," Latin rus "open country," Old Irish roi, roe "plain field," Old Church Slavonic ravinu "level," Russian raviina "a plain," Polish rum "space"). Old English also had a frequent adjective rum "roomy, wide, long, spacious."

Original sense preserved in make room "clear space for oneself" (late 14c.); meaning "chamber, cabin" first recorded early 14c. as a nautical term, and first applied mid-15c. to chambers within houses. The Old English word for this was cofa, ancestor of cove. Room-service is attested from 1913; room-temperature from 1879. Roomth "sufficient space" (1530s) now is obsolete.

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"to occupy rooms" (especially with another) as a lodger," 1828, from room (n.). Related: Roomed; rooming. Rooming-house is from 1889. In Old English (rumian) and Middle English the verb meant "become clear of obstacles; make clear of, evict."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with room


In addition to the idiom beginning with room

  • room and board

also see:

  • not enough room to swing a cat
  • take up space (room)
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.