verb (1)
\ ˈrōv How to pronounce rove (audio) \
roved; roving

Definition of rove

 (Entry 1 of 5)

intransitive verb

: to move aimlessly : roam

transitive verb

: to wander through or over


noun (1)

Definition of rove (Entry 2 of 5)

: an act or instance of wandering


Definition of rove (Entry 3 of 5)

past tense and past participle of reeve


verb (2)
roved; roving

Definition of rove (Entry 4 of 5)

transitive verb

: to join (textile fibers) with a slight twist and draw out into roving



Definition of rove (Entry 5 of 5)

: roving

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Choose the Right Synonym for rove

Verb (1)

wander, roam, ramble, rove, traipse, meander mean to go about from place to place usually without a plan or definite purpose. wander implies an absence of or an indifference to a fixed course. fond of wandering about the square just watching the people roam suggests wandering about freely and often far afield. liked to roam through the woods ramble stresses carelessness and indifference to one's course or objective. the speaker rambled on without ever coming to the point rove suggests vigorous and sometimes purposeful roaming. armed brigands roved over the countryside traipse implies a course that is erratic but may sometimes be purposeful. traipsed all over town looking for the right dress meander implies a winding or intricate course suggestive of aimless or listless wandering. the river meanders for miles through rich farmland

First Known Use of rove

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (1)

circa 1550, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1782, in the meaning defined above


1789, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rove

Verb (1)

earlier, to shoot at random, wander, of unknown origin

Verb (2)

origin unknown

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Learn More About rove

Time Traveler for rove

Time Traveler

The first known use of rove was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near rove



rove beetle

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Cite this Entry

“Rove.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for rove


\ ˈrōv How to pronounce rove (audio) \
roved; roving

Kids Definition of rove

: to wander without definite plan or direction

Other Words from rove

rover noun

More from Merriam-Webster on rove

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rove

Nglish: Translation of rove for Spanish Speakers


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