\ ˈrüst How to pronounce roost (audio) \

Definition of roost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a support on which birds rest
b : a place where winged animals and especially birds customarily roost
2 : a group of birds roosting together


roosted; roosting; roosts

Definition of roost (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to settle down for rest or sleep : perch
2 : to settle oneself as if on a roost

transitive verb

: to supply a roost for or put to roost

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for roost

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of roost in a Sentence

Verb Pigeons roost on the building's ledge. pigeons flying home to roost on the roof
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The second half was your basic rock fight, with the defenses ruling the roost., "His name is Amari Cooper.," 25 Nov. 2019 Then, the bats were released back into their original roost, wearing small sensors to monitor their behavior. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Vampire bats form close friendships and help each other, study finds," 31 Oct. 2019 But the ancestors of today's birds—members of the neornithine lineage—were mere bit players compared with archaic birds such as the enantiornithines, which ruled the roost. Kate Wong, Scientific American, "Solving the Mystery of Songbird Diversity," 1 Nov. 2019 The giants, many with headquarters nearby, rule the roost at Stanford. The Economist, "How Silicon Valley woos Stanford students," 31 Oct. 2019 Unsurprisingly for a Miami roost, the apartment, which was combined from two units, is mostly white. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, "This Miami Beach Getaway Mixes Modern and Pop Sensibilities to Create a Happy Space," 16 Sep. 2019 The Popeyes phenomenon kicked off social media debates over whose spicy chicken — Popeyes or Chick-fil-A, even Wendy’s — ruled the roost. Emily Heil, Washington Post, "McDonald’s is tardy to the chicken-sandwich party with a spicy entry that can’t touch Popeyes’," 17 Sep. 2019 Still, Republicans ruled the roost, and were further emboldened by the historic wave that swept through the state House and Senate in 2010. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Two Dans, Two Elections, and No Winners," 10 Sep. 2019 Roberto Surace rules the roost with his quirky disco groove. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Roberto Surace Tops Shazam's Ibiza Dance Chart For Sixth Week," 3 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Finally, researchers outfitted the bats with tiny trackers and released them to join an existing colony roosting in a hollow tree. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Vampire bats form bonds of ‘friendship’ that last beyond captivity," 31 Oct. 2019 Its inception signaled a seismic shift in the way larger agendas came home to roost online. Nathaniel Friedman, The New Republic, "Moments Without Truth," 21 Oct. 2019 Threats to adult hawks include habitat destruction, electrocution from roosting on power lines, and being hit by cars when pursuing prey, like mice, beside roadways., "“They’re power fliers. They head out over open water and island hop to Nantucket, Long Island, and so on. They’re not intimidated by water like buteos are.”," 10 Oct. 2019 According to California biologists, the fungus was detected in four bats found roosting within houses and a bank building in the town of Chester, about 15 miles southeast of the park. Louis Sahagun,, "A deadly fungus is killing millions of bats in the US. Now it’s in California," 5 July 2019 The chickens are coming home to roost, this is real here. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Raging fires and hundreds of thousands without power. Officials fear it's the 'new abnormal' for California," 12 Oct. 2019 Condors might be seen soaring on the morning thermals along the ridge and roosting in trees in the evenings. Sharon Boorstin, Los Angeles Times, "Where to see California condors in the wild," 6 Sep. 2019 Both species are widely distributed across Africa and often roost together. Kimberly Hickok, Fox News, "Scientists discover a sixth species of Ebola virus — in bats," 27 Aug. 2018 For humans, it’s later in life that high cholesterol comes home to roost, so to speak, in the form of heart disease. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Crows love cheeseburgers. And now they’re getting high cholesterol.," 26 Aug. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of roost


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1530, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for roost


Middle English, from Old English hrōst; akin to Old Saxon hrōst attic

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about roost

Time Traveler for roost

Time Traveler

The first known use of roost was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for roost

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Roost.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for roost


How to pronounce roost (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of roost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a place where birds rest or sleep



English Language Learners Definition of roost (Entry 2 of 2)

of a bird : to rest or sleep somewhere


\ ˈrüst How to pronounce roost (audio) \

Kids Definition of roost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a place where birds rest or sleep


roosted; roosting

Kids Definition of roost (Entry 2 of 2)

: to settle down for rest or sleep Sparrows roost in the trees.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on roost

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for roost

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with roost

Spanish Central: Translation of roost

Nglish: Translation of roost for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of roost for Arabic Speakers

Comments on roost

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


to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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