1 of 4

noun (1)

: a common Old World gregarious crow (Corvus frugilegus) that nests and roosts in usually treetop colonies

Illustration of rook

Illustration of rook


2 of 4


rooked; rooking; rooks

transitive verb

: to defraud by cheating or swindling


3 of 4

noun (2)

: either of two pieces of each color in a set of chessmen having the power to move along the ranks or files across any number of unoccupied squares

called also castle


4 of 4

noun (3)

: rookie

Example Sentences

Verb once you learn to recognize these swindler's tricks, no one will be able to use them to rook you

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English hrōc; akin to Old High German hruoch rook

Noun (2)

Middle English rok, from Anglo-French roc, from Arabic rukhkh, from Persian rukh

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1595, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1905, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rook was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near rook

Cite this Entry

“Rook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 noun
: a common Old World crow that nests and sleeps in groups usually in treetops


2 of 3 verb


3 of 3 noun
: a chessman that can move parallel to the sides of the board across any number of unoccupied squares

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