rov·​ing | \ ˈrō-viŋ How to pronounce roving (audio) \

Definition of roving

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : not restricted as to location or area of concern
b : capable of being shifted from place to place : mobile
2 : inclined to ramble or stray a roving fancy



Definition of roving (Entry 2 of 2)

: a slightly twisted roll or strand of usually textile fibers

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Examples of roving in a Sentence


a roving substitute teacher who works in a different district every day

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The campus quadrangle is largely quiet, other than the chants coming from the picket lines in front of building entrances and the roving marching band of protesters crisscrossing the campus. Chloe Watlington, The New Republic, "The Labor Movement’s Newest Warriors: Grad Students," 6 June 2019 On a freezing night in January, the body of a woman was found in an alleyway outside a Kirkland church where a local agency housed one of its roving emergency shelters. Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times, "Kirkland to get new shelter for women and families, as Eastside homeless population rises," 13 Apr. 2019 On Saturday afternoon, however, the independent bookstore in Virginia's capital became the next stop in the roving battle over civility in politics, after a customer spotted former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon inside and confronted him. Amy B Wang,, "Bookstore owner defends calling police on woman who told Steve Bannon he was 'a piece of trash'," 8 July 2018 During our two night stay, we are roused in the middle of the night by a hippo very keen on splashing just beyond our deck, and visited by a roving herd of elephants, one of whom practically greets us at our front door after our morning game drive. Virginia Van Zanten, Vogue, "Why Botswana Should Top Your Travel List in 2019," 27 Dec. 2018 The breadth of the collection offers a window into the roving mind of its proprietor, Karl Lagerfeld, who sits at the head of a table in an immaculate Dior Homme suit. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Karl Lagerfeld Turns Interior Designer With a New Miami Masterpiece," 3 Jan. 2019 The drinks are simple (get a straight shot) and there's no food save for toasted peanuts and fava beans sold from a roving snack vendor. Scarlett Lindeman, Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Bars in Mexico City," 27 Feb. 2018 The letters are soon undergoing a restoration and will soon be traveling around the city as a roving installation at festivals and events. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Tourist magnet ‘I Amsterdam’ sign has been removed," 6 Dec. 2018 The Draper is the second offering from Land Ark RV, the company now making some of the most stylish roving houses out there. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Ultra-stylish tiny house comes with fold-down deck," 9 Nov. 2018

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


1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1785, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for roving


rove entry 1


rove entry 4

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Learn More about roving

Statistics for roving

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for roving

The first known use of roving was in 1565

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More Definitions for roving



English Language Learners Definition of roving

: going to many different places

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More from Merriam-Webster on roving

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for roving

Nglish: Translation of roving for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about roving

Comments on roving

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behavior toward others

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