ro·​ta | \ ˈrō-tə How to pronounce rota (audio) \

Definition of rota

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 capitalized [Medieval Latin, from Latin] : a tribunal of the papal curia exercising jurisdiction especially in matrimonial cases appealed from diocesan courts
2 chiefly British
a : a fixed order of rotation (as of persons or duties)
b : a roll or list of persons : roster


biographical name
Ro·​ta | \ ˈrō-(ˌ)tä How to pronounce Rota (audio) \

Definition of Rota (Entry 2 of 3)

Nino 1911–1979 Italian composer


geographical name
Ro·​ta | \ ˈrō-tə How to pronounce Rota (audio) \

Definition of Rota (Entry 3 of 3)

1 island in the western Pacific Ocean at the southern end of the Mariana Islands area 35 square miles (91 square kilometers)
2 town and port on the Atlantic Ocean in southwestern Spain population 29,136

Examples of rota in a Sentence

Noun a rota of housekeeping duties
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the covid-19 world is one where hairdressers sterilise their scissors between cuts and offices allocate desks on a rota to maintain social distancing. The Economist, "Sailors are stranded at sea Cargo ship crews are stuck at sea," 20 June 2020 When childcare and school were canceled for her kids, ages three and six, Alice and her partner worked out a rota where each tried to fulfill their full-time work responsibilities, and took shifts of childcare. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "The choices working parents make now will shape the future for women," 21 May 2020 Companies would be expected to shift their rotas so that offices are never full unnecessarily. Rob Picheta, CNN, "What happens if a coronavirus vaccine is never developed? It has happened before," 3 May 2020 Erol Koc runs a very small corner shop, Roj Supermarket, also in Waltham Forest, that employs four people on a rota to staff the single till. Cassie Werber, Quartz, "Coronavirus is making London’s corner shops vitally important again," 17 Mar. 2020 Applying a weekly cleaning rota, along with assigning breakfast duties, all five could bunk up a la university halls and bond every night., "5 Bonding Activities to Make Arsenal's Quintet of Captains a Closer Knit Group," 29 Sep. 2019 In other workplaces some seats will be tacitly reserved for those with seniority; who would dare sit in the seat of the person who decides your work rota? The Economist, "Hot desk, cold comfort," 26 Sep. 2019 This week was an audition of sorts for Lady Portrush to enter the coveted Open rota. Daniel Rapaport,, "2019 British Open Parting Thoughts: Lowry’s Victory, Koepka Makes History and More," 21 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rota.' 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 rota


1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rota


Latin, wheel — more at roll

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Cite this Entry

“Rota.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce Rota (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rota

British : a list that shows who must do a certain job

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