rook·​ie | \ˈru̇-kē \

Definition of rookie 

1 : recruit also : novice

2 : a first-year participant in a major professional sport

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Examples of rookie in a Sentence

There are three rookies in the starting lineup. an experienced policeman whose partner is a rookie

Recent Examples on the Web

It’s no coincidence that Sessions was the anomaly in Trump’s Cabinet, the seasoned vet in a clubhouse full of rookies. Dara Lind, Vox, "Jeff Sessions gave Trump the immigration crackdown he wanted," 7 Nov. 2018 The Giants’ quagmire is best understood in the light of these rookies. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Sticking With Eli Manning Has Torpedoed the Giants—Again," 21 Oct. 2018 Three astronauts will fly on the first flight test of the Boeing Starliner spacecraft—scheduled for launch in mid-2019 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket—two Space Shuttle veterans and a rookie preparing for her first spaceflight. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Announces Astronauts to Fly on SpaceX and Boeing Spacecraft," 3 Aug. 2018 Rodriguez, 26, is one of two rookies who have claimed spots in the San Francisco rotation, along with lefty Andrew Suarez, 25. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "Younger, cheaper, better: Giants pull off trade with Rangers that helps now - and in future," 8 July 2018 From a fan perspective, Summer League is a nice opportunity to get excited about the incoming crop of rookies. Jeremy Woo,, "Lottery Picks, Key Returners and Summer League Storylines to Watch," 6 July 2018 With a core of three rookies, the Fever were learning their way the hard way. Andrew Hussey, Indianapolis Star, "Fever snap 10-game losing streak with dominant victory over the Atlanta Dream," 16 June 2018 The 23-year-old forward was one of the NHL's best rookies after Arizona selected him with the 12th overall pick in in 2013, scoring 18 goals with 34 assists in 2015-16. John Marshall,, "Max Domi, Alex Galchenyuk eager for fresh starts with new teams," 16 June 2018 Play the most snaps (424 in the regular season, 83 in the playoffs) of any rookie on a Super Bowl-winning team, and the impulse might be to live it up a bit in the offseason. Les Bowen,, "Repaired and refreshed, Derek Barnett looks to build on strong rookie year," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rookie.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rookie

1868, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rookie

perhaps alteration of recruit

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Dictionary Entries near rookie

rook's tour







Statistics for rookie

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for rookie

The first known use of rookie was in 1868

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More Definitions for rookie



English Language Learners Definition of rookie

: a first-year player in a professional sport

: a person who has just started a job or activity and has little experience


rook·​ie | \ˈru̇-kē \

Kids Definition of rookie

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Comments on rookie

What made you want to look up rookie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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