of the nature of, proceeding by, or adhering to routine: routine duties.
dull or uninteresting; commonplace.

Origin of routine

1670–80; < French, derivative of route route
Related formsrou·tine·ly, adverbrou·tine·ness, nounnon·rou·tine, adjective, nounun·rou·tine, adjectiveun·rou·tine·ly, adverb
Can be confusedregular routine

Synonyms for routine Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for routine

Contemporary Examples of routine

Historical Examples of routine

  • Just such a promenade, with a sleepy band, just such a casino, just such a routine.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • All his promotion had come from trying to excel in his routine work.

  • On his part, he fell into a routine without the least evidence of discontent.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Constance would willingly have commenced the daily routine at an earlier hour.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • The ideal of these brown braves was the routine of a military life.


    Theodor Hertzka

British Dictionary definitions for routine



a usual or regular method of procedure, esp one that is unvarying
computing a program or part of a program performing a specific functionan input routine; an output routine
a set sequence of dance steps
informal a hackneyed or insincere speech


of, relating to, or characteristic of routine
Derived Formsroutinely, adverb

Word Origin for routine

C17: from Old French, from route a customary way, route
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 routine

1670s, from French routine "usual course of action, beaten path" (16c.), from route "way, path, course" (see route (n.)) + noun suffix -ine (see -ine (1)). Theatrical or athletic performance sense is from 1926. The adjective is attested from 1817, from the noun. Related: Routinely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper