[ roost ]
See synonyms for: roostroostedroosting on

  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.

  1. a place for sitting, resting, or lodging.

verb (used without object)
  1. to sit or rest on a roost, perch, etc.

  2. to settle or stay, especially for the night.

Idioms about roost

  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.

Origin of roost

before 1100; Middle English roost (noun), Old English hrōst; cognate with Middle Dutch roest

Other words from roost

  • un·roost·ed, adjective
  • un·roost·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use roost in a sentence

  • He insists on roosting on the extreme north end of the ridge-board and he always flies up on the south end.

  • All I needed to do was to listen and locate the lustiest crowers where they were roosting in the apple trees.

  • Those old Norman villages are famous for early roosting, and the villagers are generally great rearers of poultry.

    Toilers of the Sea | Victor Hugo
  • Overhead the rooks streamed homewards to their roosting trees.

    Wood Magic | Richard Jefferies

British Dictionary definitions for roost (1 of 2)


/ (ruːst) /

  1. a place, perch, branch, etc, where birds, esp domestic fowl, rest or sleep

  2. a temporary place to rest or stay

  1. rule the roost See rule (def. 20)

  1. (intr) to rest or sleep on a roost

  2. (intr) to settle down or stay

  1. come home to roost to have unfavourable repercussions

Origin of roost

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

British Dictionary definitions for Roost (2 of 2)


/ (ruːst) /

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

Origin of 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with roost


see chickens come home to roost; rule the roost.

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