\ ˈrau̇t How to pronounce rout (audio) \

Definition of rout

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : a state of wild confusion or disorderly retreat
2a : a disastrous defeat : debacle
b : a precipitate flight
\ ˈrau̇t How to pronounce rout (audio) \
routed; routing; routs

Definition of rout (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1a : to defeat decisively or disastrously the discomfiture of seeing their party routed at the polls— A. N. Holcombe
b : to put to precipitate flight
c : to disorganize completely : demoralize
2 : to drive out : dispel
\ ˈrau̇t How to pronounce rout (audio) \

Definition of rout (Entry 3 of 5)

1 : a crowd of people specifically : rabble sense 2b
b archaic : fuss
3 : a fashionable gathering
\ ˈrau̇t How to pronounce rout (audio) \
routed; routing; routs

Definition of rout (Entry 4 of 5)

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

1 : to come up with : uncover scouts … routing out new talent— Carrie Donovan
2a : to force out as if by digging usually used with out
b : to cause to emerge especially from bed
3a : to gouge out or make a furrow in (something, such as wood or metal)
b archaic : to dig up with the snout
\ ˈrōt How to pronounce rout (audio) , ˈrüt\
routed; routing; routs

Definition of rout (Entry 5 of 5)

intransitive verb

dialectal, chiefly British
: to low loudly : bellow used of cattle

First Known Use of rout

Noun (1)

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb (1)

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1c

Noun (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

circa 1564, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Verb (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rout

Noun (1)

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 (1)

derivative of rout entry 1

Noun (2)

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 (2)

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

Verb (3)

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"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rout

Statistics for rout

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for rout

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rout

rout

verb
\ ˈrau̇t How to pronounce rout (audio) \
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

rout

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on rout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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