noun (1)
\ˈrau̇t \

Definition of rout 

(Entry 1 of 5)

1 : a crowd of people specifically : rabble sense 2b

2a : disturbance

b archaic : fuss

3 : a fashionable gathering


verb (1)
\ˈrōt, ˈrüt\
routed; routing; routs

Definition of rout (Entry 2 of 5)

intransitive verb

dialectal, chiefly British

: to low loudly : bellow used of cattle


verb (2)
\ˈrau̇t \
routed; routing; routs

Definition of rout (Entry 3 of 5)

intransitive verb

1 : to poke around with the snout : root pigs routing in the earth

2 : to search haphazardly

transitive verb

1a archaic : to dig up with the snout

b : to gouge out or make a furrow in (something, such as wood or metal)

2a : to force out as if by digging usually used with out

b : to cause to emerge especially from bed

3 : to come up with : uncover scouts … routing out new talent— Carrie Donovan


noun (2)
\ˈrau̇t \

Definition of rout (Entry 4 of 5)

1 : a state of wild confusion or disorderly retreat

2a : a disastrous defeat : debacle

b : a precipitate flight


verb (3)
\ˈrau̇t \
routed; routing; routs

Definition of rout (Entry 5 of 5)

transitive verb

1a : to disorganize completely : demoralize

b : to put to precipitate flight

c : to defeat decisively or disastrously the discomfiture of seeing their party routed at the polls— A. N. Holcombe

2 : to drive out : dispel

First Known Use of rout

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

circa 1564, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb (3)

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rout

Noun (1)

Middle English route "group, band of soldiers, crowd," borrowed from Anglo-French route, rute "band, herd, armed force," going back to Vulgar Latin *rupta "detachment," literally, "something broken off," going back to Latin, feminine of ruptus, past participle of rumpere "to break" — more at route entry 1

Verb (1)

Middle English (northern) & early Scots rowten, rowte, borrowed from Old Norse rauta "to roar," going back to Germanic *rautōjan-, probably derivative of a noun *raut- "bellowing, roaring," from an ablaut derivative of *reutan- (whence Old English rēotan "to weep, wail," Old High German riozan "to weep, mourn," Old Swedish riuta "to roar"), going back to Indo-European *Hreu̯d- "produce a loud sound, weep," whence, with varying ablaut grades, Latin rudere, rūdere "to make a loud noise, bellow, bray," Lithuanian raudóti "to sob, weep," Old Church Slavic rydati, Sanskrit rodiṣi "(you) weep"

Verb (2)

presumed to be variant of wroot, root entry 3 (though alteration of vowel is unexplained)

Noun (2)

borrowed from Middle French route "defeat, disorderly retreat," noun derivative from feminine of rout, alternate past participle of rompre "to defeat, put to flight," literally, "to break, smash," going back to Old French, going back to Latin rumpere — more at route entry 1

Verb (3)

derivative of rout entry 4

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Learn More about rout

Dictionary Entries near rout






route agent

route chart

Statistics for rout

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Time Traveler for rout

The first known use of rout was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for rout


\ˈrau̇t \
routed; routing

Kids Definition of rout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to cause to run away Flood routed people from their homes.

2 : to defeat completely



Kids Definition of rout (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an easy or lopsided defeat We lost 44-0—it was a rout.

2 : wild confusion or disorderly retreat

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More from Merriam-Webster on rout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rout

Spanish Central: Translation of rout

Nglish: Translation of rout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rout for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rout

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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