American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A place where rooks nest or breed.
- n. A colony of rooks.
- n. The breeding ground of certain other birds or animals, such as penguins and seals.
- n. Informal A crowded and dilapidated tenement.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A place where rooks congregate to breed.
- n. The rooks that breed in a rookery, collectively.
- n. A place where birds or other animals resort in great numbers to breed. The resort of various sea-birds, as auks, murres, guillemots, puffins, petrels, penguins, and cormorants, generally a rocky sea-coast or island.
- n. A cluster of mean tenements inhabited by people of the lowest class; a resort of thieves, tramps, ruffians, and the like.
- n. A brothel.
- n. A disturbance; a row.
- n. A colony of breeding birds or other animals.
- n. A crowded tenement.
- n. UK a place where criminals congregate, often an area of a town or city.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The breeding place of a colony of rooks; also, the birds themselves.
- n. A breeding place of other gregarious birds, as of herons, penguins, etc.
- n. The breeding ground of seals, esp. of the fur seals.
- n. A dilapidated building with many rooms and occupants; a cluster of dilapidated or mean buildings.
- n. Low A brothel.
- n. a breeding ground for gregarious birds (such as rooks)
“Few things are so unmusical as the voices of rooks, yet a home with a rookery is a very peaceful place.”
“The young take to the water early in the autumn and the rookery is deserted about that time, the last to leave being the old birds who stay behind to moult.”
“When Adah learned that Alice and I had actually bought a place at last she fairly wept for joy, and she excitedly produced her creased and worn copy of "The National Architect" and besought us to remodel the old Schmittheimer "rookery" -- that is what she dared to call it -- into a villa!”
“They have this default expression, like they're expecting to hear any minute that a tanker has gone aground and spilled a half million tons of crude oil into a penguin rookery.”
“It was called a rookery, one of many in London, but this was as foul a rookery as any the city could boast.”
“Some were sent out to steal pieces of iron, brass, copper, and old junk; and these Hag Zogbaum would sell or give to the man who kept the junk-shop in Stanton street, known as the rookery at the corner.”
“Another feature in connexion with the rookery is the presence of what may be called unattached bulls, which lie around at a little distance from the cows, and well apart, forming a regular ring through which any cow wishing to desert her pup or leave the rookery before the proper time has very little chance of passing, as one of these grips her firmly with his powerful flipper and stays her progress.”
“The site of their rookery is a stony flat about a hundred yards from the water, and here are collected between five and six thousand -- all that remain on the island.”
“Nor must I avoid mentioning what, I grieve to say, rather derogates from the grave and honourable character of these ancient gentlefolk, that, during the architectural season, they are subject to great dissensions among themselves; that they make no scruple to defraud and plunder each other; and that sometimes the rookery is a scene of hideous brawl and commotion, in consequence of some delinquency of the kind.”
“In a grove of tall oaks and beeches, that crowns a terrace walk, just on the skirts of the garden, is an ancient rookery, which is one of the most important provinces in the squire's rural domains.”
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