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.
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 roestRelated formsun·roost·ed, adjectiveun·roost·ing, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for rule the roost
a place, perch, branch, etc, where birds, esp domestic fowl, rest or sleep
a temporary place to rest or stay
(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
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
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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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
rule the roost in Culture
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
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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
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