\ 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 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 The best roosts are just indoors, under the slanting roof, shaded but still catching occasional cooling gusts, and positioned so the Pacific lands right in the sightline. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The surprise at Santa Monica’s hot spot Élephante? The carb situation is on point.," 15 Aug. 2019 Dumb-downers, finger-waggers, and campground counselors rule the roost. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Dijon’s Masterpiece of a Museum, Brilliantly Renovated," 20 July 2019 Overall, Hotstar and MXPlayer were ruling the roost with the highest share of OTT audiences using their platforms. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "One OTT platform is simply not enough for video-hungry Indians," 17 June 2019 Tropic birds, shearwaters, petrels, terns, boobies, and other birds of the open ocean roost and forage on sargassum mats. David Doubilet, National Geographic, "Life in the North Atlantic depends on this floating seaweed," 12 June 2019 Sides: The sports bar sides ruled the roost with crispy tater tots ($3.99 for a half order). Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "52 Weeks of BBQ: Big Lou’s Burgers & BBQ," 22 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 The meat industry’s chickens are coming home to roost. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, "Veggie burgers were living an idyllic little existence. Then they got caught in a war over the future of meat.," 25 Aug. 2019 The Chicken roosted in the stands during the first three or four years of his career. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Chicken feeling young again with return to Petco Park," 27 July 2019 The relationship is complex, but overall, tree cover lessens impacts, such as reduced foraging or fewer roosting opportunities, on these creatures of the night. National Geographic, "Light pollution hurts urban bats. Trees can help.," 17 Apr. 2019 In some cases, mice have been found to have eaten the eggs of some of the many birds that use the islands to breed and roost during their migrations. Will Houston, The Mercury News, "‘Like dropping a nuclear bomb on this island’: Feds delay Farallon Islands poison airdrop bid," 11 July 2019 Smaller birds such as rosy-faced lovebirds and familiar chats may room alongside them in this avian mansion, while vultures or eagles may roost on the roof. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "These animals make homes for other species," 25 June 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

Statistics for roost

Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for roost

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

See more words from the same century

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).


something of little or no value

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!