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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of roving in a Sentence

Adjective a roving substitute teacher who works in a different district every day
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tensions grew as the main march moved from Freedom Plaza to outside the U.S. Supreme Court, and as the final speeches ended, clashes turned into roving street fights that left police struggling to keep up. Washington Post, "Police say groups arrived in District ‘intent on clashing’ as they assess violent end to Trump rallies," 10 Nov. 2020 Its records also show that since 1991, no owner, operator or charterer has been issued a citation or fine for failure to post a roving patrol. Stefanie Dazio And Tom Krisher,, "Safety board: Lack of oversight blamed for deadly boat fire," 20 Oct. 2020 Jerry Boylan, were asleep above deck when the fire broke out — an apparent violation of Coast Guard regulations requiring a roving watch — and managed to escape by jumping into the water. Fox News, "Federal transportation authorities to vote on probable cause in fatal California boat fire," 9 Sep. 2019 Justin Sudds, co-founder and executive producer of Right Angle Entertainment, had been toying with the idea of a roving show for a while, Dawe said. Deborah Martin,, "“Art Heist,” an interactive performance and walking tour, makes its U.S. premiere with shows in San Antonio and Austin," 12 Oct. 2020 Rumors of anti-fascist violence have spurred roving patrols, particularly after the wildfires started in early September. oregonlive, "Fed intelligence sent to Oregon and Portland indicates right-wing extremists pose biggest lethal threat," 26 Sep. 2020 Another telling sign of imminent charges was that all six crew members were asleep when the fire broke out, which violates Coast Guard regulations that require a roving watch, CBS reported, citing the NTSB. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Crew members aboard dive boat that caught fire and left 34 dead say they didn't know emergency procedures," 16 Sep. 2020 The camera follows these modern creatures low to the ground, with minimal narration, creating a roving, diaristic dog’s-eye view. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "RIP, Laika: Space Dogs Will Break Your Heart," 7 Sep. 2020 The roving, short sets are intended to encourage social distancing and limit the crowds who gather in any one place, Sessa said. Colin Campbell,, "Sail ho! With First Thursdays in Baltimore canceled this year, Rufus Roundtree to take pirate ship stage Saturday," 6 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Prosecutors alleged Boylan failed to have a night watch or roving patrol, conduct fire drills and conduct sufficient crew training — all of which are required by the Code of Federal Regulations. CBS News, "California dive boat captain charged with manslaughter in 2019 fire that killed 34 people," 1 Dec. 2020 Three safety violations were cited in the indictment, including failing to have a night watch or roving patrol, failing to conduct sufficient fire drills, and failing to conduct sufficient crew training. Amir Vera And Sarah Moon, CNN, "California dive boat captain indicted on multiple counts of manslaughter in connection with fire that left 34 dead," 1 Dec. 2020 On Sundays from April to October, Iron Horse hosts the Tomales Bay Oyster Girls, a roving, all-female band of shuckers, from noon to 4 p.m. Esther Mobley,, "Iron Horse is the perfect tasting room for sparkling wine," 7 Dec. 2017 In contrast to other concert series, like the cluttered Tiny Desk or the handheld street roving of La Blogotheque, the look of COLORS is soothing and pristine. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Meet COLORS, a Rising Powerhouse for Music Discovery," 27 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about roving

Statistics for roving

Cite this Entry

“Roving.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for roving



English Language Learners Definition of roving

: going to many different places

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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