• synonyms


See more synonyms for roost on Thesaurus.com
  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
  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

Related Words for roosted

locate, occupy, reside, populate, possess, sit, settle, crash, abide, alight, squat, hover, linger, stop, live, continue, endure, stand, persist, last

Examples from the Web for roosted

Historical Examples of roosted

  • Then, on being called, the bird settled and roosted on the ground beside him.

    Birds in the Calendar

    Frederick G. Aflalo

  • These roosted in the trees at night and so escaped the plentiful foxes.

  • As they all roosted like chickens on the beams, there sounded a footstep just outside.

    Everyday Adventures

    Samuel Scoville

  • Parrots jabbered and a few of them roosted in the iguana tree.

    When the Owl Cries

    Paul Bartlett

  • Then he flew to the highest perch he could find in the room, and roosted for the night.

    The Children's Book of Birds

    Olive Thorne Miller

British Dictionary definitions for roosted


  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
  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 for roost

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


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

Word Origin for Roost

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 roosted



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



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

Idioms and Phrases with roosted


see chickens come home to roost; rule the roost.

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