rook·​ery ˈru̇-kə-rē How to pronounce rookery (audio)
plural rookeries
: the nests or breeding place of a colony of rooks
also : a colony of rooks
: a breeding ground or haunt especially of gregarious birds or mammals (such as penguins or seals)
also : a colony of such birds or mammals
: a crowded dilapidated tenement or group of dwellings

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This is the only rookery of its kind in the world that’s easily accessible and free to the public every day of the year. Brad Japhe, Travel + Leisure, 9 May 2023 The declining water level uncovered a land bridge connecting an island rookery to the shore. Los Angeles Times, 19 Feb. 2023 California sea lions – the ones typically encountered in the Columbia River basin – breed in rookeries off California’s southern coast. Gwozniac, oregonlive, 8 Apr. 2023 The Piedras Blancas Rookery is the only elephant seal rookery in the world that’s easily accessible, free, and open to the public every day. David K. Li, NBC News, 12 May 2022 At the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery, a breeding ground for the jumbo, bad-humored mammals just north of San Simeon, Ryan Riezebos and his wife, Lori, made the hours-long drive from the Central Valley recently for a look at the animals and the ocean along Highway 1. Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2021 May Seabirds on the Bay: Sunset Cruise, 7-9 p.m., May 15, Sunset birding cruise tour of Biscayne Bay, scan the mangrove shoreline of the Crandon rookery for brown pelicans, magnificent frigatebirds, and over 30 species of birds, presented by the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station. Cindy Kent, Sun Sentinel, 26 Apr. 2022 Still, the situation could improve as pregnant seals will continue to arrive at the California rookery and give birth throughout the winter. Valerie Nome, Peoplemag, 26 Jan. 2023 The elephant seals who gave birth before the storms likely lost their pups, as few baby elephant seals remained on the rookery's beaches by mid-January, according to Noozhawk. Valerie Nome, Peoplemag, 26 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rookery.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of rookery was in 1704

Dictionary Entries Near rookery

Cite this Entry

“Rookery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


rook·​ery ˈru̇k-ə-rē How to pronounce rookery (audio)
plural rookeries
: the place where a group of birds or social mammals (as penguins or seals) breed, nest, or raise their young
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!