roost

[ roost ]
/ rust /

noun

a perch upon which birds or fowls rest at night.
a large cage, house, or place for fowls or birds to roost in.
a place for sitting, resting, or lodging.

verb (used without object)

to sit or rest on a roost, perch, etc.
to settle or stay, especially for the night.

Idioms

    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.
    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

Related forms

un·roost·ed, adjectiveun·roost·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for rule the roost (1 of 2)

roost

/ (ruːst) /

noun

a place, perch, branch, etc, where birds, esp domestic fowl, rest or sleep
a temporary place to rest or stay
rule the roost See rule (def. 20)

verb

(intr) to rest or sleep on a roost
(intr) to settle down or stay
come home to roost to have unfavourable repercussions

Word Origin for roost

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

British Dictionary definitions for rule the roost (2 of 2)

Roost

/ (ruːst) /

noun

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

Word Origin for 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

Culture definitions for rule the roost

rule the roost

To dominate; to be in charge: “Even though Sally has five older brothers, she still rules the roost.”


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with rule the roost (1 of 2)

rule the roost

Be in charge, boss others, as in In our division the chairman's son rules the roost. This expression originated in the 15th century as rule the roast, which was either a corruption of rooster or alluded to the person who was in charge of the roast and thus ran the kitchen. In the barnyard a rooster decides which hen should roost near him. Both interpretations persisted for 200 years. Thomas Heywood (c. 1630) put it as “Her that ruled the roast in the kitchen,” but Shakespeare had it in 2 Henry VI (1:1): “The new-made duke that rules the roast,” which is more ambiguous. In the mid-1700s roost began to compete with roast, and in the 1900s roost displaced roast altogether. Also see run the show.


Idioms and Phrases with rule the roost (2 of 2)

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.