ro·​ta ˈrō-tə How to pronounce rota (audio)
capitalized [Medieval Latin, from Latin] : a tribunal of the papal curia exercising jurisdiction especially in matrimonial cases appealed from diocesan courts
chiefly British
: a fixed order of rotation (as of persons or duties)
: a roll or list of persons : roster

Example Sentences

a rota of housekeeping duties
Recent Examples on the Web My rota consisted of one day, and two night, shifts. Sinéad O’sullivan, Vogue, 5 Jan. 2023 The drivable 18th ranks as the easiest par 4 on The Open rota. Jay Ginsbach, Forbes, 29 June 2022 Suddenly moving from an official position while on a royal rota is the most cardinal of sins. Stephanie Petit,, 6 Apr. 2022 Native Americans, for example, have different names for the year’s rota of full moons, a technique partly designed to track the passage of time. Robin Andrews, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Turnberry, on Scotland's Ayrshire coast, is one of the finest venues on the Open Championship rota and has produced some of the most memorable finishes of the last 40-odd years. Eamon Lynch, Detroit Free Press, 10 Jan. 2021 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, 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, 21 May 2020 Companies would be expected to shift their rotas so that offices are never full unnecessarily. Rob Picheta, CNN, 3 May 2020 See More

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

Word History


Latin, wheel — more at roll

First Known Use

1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rota was in 1561

Dictionary Entries Near rota

Cite this Entry

“Rota.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Ro·​ta ˈrō-tə How to pronounce Rota (audio)
island in the western Pacific Ocean at the southern end of the Mariana Islands area 35 square miles (91 square kilometers)
town and port on the Atlantic Ocean in southwestern Spain population 29,136

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Ro·​ta ˈrō-(ˌ)tä How to pronounce Rota (audio)
Nino 1911–1979 Italian composer

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