[ ros-ter ]
/ ˈrɒs tər /
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a list of persons or groups, as of military personnel or units with their turns or periods of duty.
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does roster mean?

A roster is a list or register of people or things.

Roster is perhaps most commonly used to refer to the official list of players on a sports team, but it can refer to many other things, including lists of military personnel and lists of academic classes.

Example: We have spots on our roster for 26 players.

Where does roster come from?

Roster has been on the roster of the English language since at least the 1720s. It comes from the Dutch word rooster, meaning “list” or “grid,” a reference to the lined paper used for such lists. (The English word rooster, meaning “a male chicken,” shares a common root.)

Roster is used in military contexts to refer to a list of units or soldiers and their duties. The meaning is much the same in sports, in which a roster lists a team’s players and their positions. In educational contexts, a roster of classes can refer to a list of classes that a particular student is taking, or to a list of all classes available. Roster can also be used more generally to refer to any list of anything, especially when it is comprehensive or official, including people, events, or other things, as in a roster of celebrities or a roster of new restaurants.

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What are some synonyms for roster?

What are some words that share a root or word element with roster

What are some words that often get used in discussing roster?

How is roster used in real life?

Roster is most commonly used to refer to a list of players on an athletic team, but it is also used in many other contexts, including education and the military. In general, it can refer to a list of anything.


Try using roster!

Is roster used correctly in the following sentence? 

Did you pick up your roster of classes yet?

How to use roster in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for roster (1 of 2)

/ (ˈrɒstə) /

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

Word Origin for roster

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

British Dictionary definitions for roster (2 of 2)

/ (ˈrɒstə) /

Northern English dialect a rascal
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