- 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.
- to sit or rest on a roost, perch, etc.
- to settle or stay, especially for the night.
- 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
- 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)
- (intr) to rest or sleep on a roost
- (intr) to settle down or stay
- come home to roost to have unfavourable repercussions
- the Roost a powerful current caused by conflicting tides around the Shetland and Orkney Islands
Word Origin and History for rule the roost
late Old English hrost "wooden framework of a roof, perch for domestic fowl," from Proto-Germanic *hro(d)-st- (cf. Old Saxon hrost "framework of a roof, attic," Middle Dutch, Flemish, Dutch roest "roost," Old Norse hrot, Gothic hrot "roof," of unknown origin. Exact relationship and ulterior connections unknown. Extended sense "hen-house" is from 1580s. To rule the roost is recorded from 1769.
1520s, from roost (n.). Related: Roosted; roosting. Chickens come home to roost in reference to eventual consequences of bad actions attested from 1824; the original proverb seems to have been curses, like chickens, come home to roost.
rule the roost
To dominate; to be in charge: “Even though Sally has five older brothers, she still rules the roost.”
Idioms and Phrases with rule the roost
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.
see chickens come home to roost; rule the roost.