- a wharf laborer or deck hand, as on the Mississippi River.
- an unskilled laborer who lives by odd jobs.
- a circus laborer who helps in setting up and taking down the tents and in caring for the animals, equipment, and grounds.
- any unskilled laborer working in an oil field.Compare roughneck(def 2).
Origin of roustabout
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for roustabout
From management to roustabout there are common ties of interest.David Lannarck, Midget
George S. Harney
I want a slush-bucket and a brush; I'm only fit for a roustabout.Life On The Mississippi, Complete
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
This for the feet, or the head, of the first roustabout that shows himself!The Motor Boat Club and The Wireless
H. Irving Hancock
He had four hours off, and he meant to make an opportunity of talking to the roustabout.
He encountered the hunter, Deming, and asked after the roustabout.
- an unskilled labourer on an oil rig
- Australian another word for rouseabout
- US and Canadian a labourer in a circus or fairground
Word Origin and History for roustabout
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper