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  1. a list of persons or groups, as of military personnel or units with their turns or periods of duty.
  2. any list, roll, or register: a roster of famous scientists; a roster of coming events.
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Origin of roster

1720–30; < Dutch rooster list, roster, literally, gridiron, in reference to the ruled paper used, equivalent to roost(en) to roast + -er -er1


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

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British Dictionary definitions for roster


  1. a list or register, esp one showing the order of people enrolled for duty
  2. marketing the list of advertising agencies regularly used by a particular company
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  1. (tr) to place on a roster
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Word Origin

C18: from Dutch rooster grating or list (the lined paper looking like a grid)


  1. Northern English dialect a rascal
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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 roster


1727, from Dutch rooster "table, list," originally "gridiron," from Middle Dutch roosten "to roast" (see roast (v.)). So called from the grid of lines drawn on a paper to make a list.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper