rook·​ie ˈru̇-kē How to pronounce rookie (audio)
: recruit
also : novice
: a first-year participant in a major professional sport

Examples of rookie in a Sentence

There are three rookies in the starting lineup. an experienced policeman whose partner is a rookie
Recent Examples on the Web Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll has made history, becoming the first Asian American to win a rookie of the year award in Major League Baseball history. Kimmy Yam, NBC News, 14 Nov. 2023 The emergency third quarterback behind him has been Will Grier, an arrival off the practice squad of the Cincinnati Bengals who started two games as a rookie with the Carolina Panthers in 2019. Oliver Thomas, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 She’s won three WNBA titles, two most valuable player awards, made seven All-Star appearances and was the league’s rookie of the year. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2023 The dynamic rookie has been the primary returner and came into the game with one career reception. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Nov. 2023 The country has a lot of meaning for the family, and moving to the United States to play in the NBA was quite a shock for the rookie. Jacklyn Krol, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2023 This video is currently not available Body-camera videos of gunfire that wounded a rookie D.C. police officer and killed a 33-year-old man during a foot chase last week shows the injured officer falling to the ground immediately after a fellow officer, just steps behind him, opened fire. Emily Davies, Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2023 Four years later, the player out of Northwest Cabarrus High in Concord, N.C., was named the National League rookie of the year. Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2023 Sleeper: The Falcons D/ST deserves streaming consideration at home against a rookie QB making his first start. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rookie.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps alteration of recruit

First Known Use

1868, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rookie was in 1868

Dictionary Entries Near rookie

Cite this Entry

“Rookie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


rook·​ie ˈru̇k-ē How to pronounce rookie (audio)
: beginner, recruit
especially : a first-year player in a professional sport

More from Merriam-Webster on rookie

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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