from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An Old World bird (Corvus frugilegus) that resembles the North American crow and nests in colonies near the tops of trees.
  • n. A swindler or cheat, especially at games.
  • transitive v. To swindle; cheat: Customers are afraid of being rooked by unscrupulous vendors.
  • n. A chess piece that may move in a straight line over any number of empty squares in a rank or file. Also called castle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A European bird, Corvus frugilegus, of the crow family.
  • n. A swindler; someone who betrays.
  • n. a type of firecracker used by farmers to scare birds of the same name.
  • v. To cheat or swindle.
  • n. A piece shaped like a castle tower, that can be moved only up, down, left or right (but not diagonally) or in castling.
  • n. A castle or other fortification.
  • n. An Amish card game.
  • n. A rookie.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Mist; fog. See roke.
  • n. One of the four pieces placed on the corner squares of the board; a castle.
  • n. A European bird (Corvus frugilegus) resembling the crow, but smaller. It is black, with purple and violet reflections. The base of the beak and the region around it are covered with a rough, scabrous skin, which in old birds is whitish. It is gregarious in its habits. The name is also applied to related Asiatic species.
  • n. A trickish, rapacious fellow; a cheat; a sharper.
  • v. To cheat; to defraud by cheating.
  • intransitive v. To squat; to ruck.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To caw or croak as a crow or raven.
  • To cheat; defraud.
  • To cheat; defraud by cheating.
  • Same as ruck.
  • n. A kind of crow, Corvus frugilegus, abundant in Europe.
  • n. The ruddy duck, Erismatura rubida.
  • n. A cheat; a trickster or swindler; one who practises the “plucking of pigeons.” See pigeon, 2.
  • n. A simpleton; a gull; one liable to be cheated.
  • n.
  • n. In chess, one of the four pieces placed on the corner squares of the board; a castle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. deprive of by deceit
  • n. common gregarious Old World bird about the size and color of the American crow
  • n. (chess) the piece that can move any number of unoccupied squares in a direction parallel to the sides of the chessboard


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English rok, from Old English hrōc.
Middle English rok, from Old French roc, from Arabic ruḫḫ, from Persian.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From rookie.


  • I think the last white rook is behind the white king

    EXTRALIFE – By Scott Johnson - Don’t play chess with this kid.

  • The word rook comes from the Persian rukh, which means chariot.

    and now it's time for world news...

  • Today, the name of the 'ruhkh' lives on in western chess as the "rook" - although the piece was converted to a tower or "castle" in western terminology; and in northern India and Pakistan many men are named after the 'shah ruhkh' including famous Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan.

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • There is the study that showed how a Eurasian corvid called a rook figured out that it could raise the level of water in a pitcher by adding rocks to it, just like in the ancient Aesop fable, so it could get a drink.

    David Mizejewski: Corvids Are Oddly Intelligent

  • Chimpy: Listen, your rook was a threat, so I removed him.

    Archive 2004-05-01

  • Chimpy: Listen, I know in my heart your rook was a threat.

    Archive 2004-05-01

  • The most important problem however in connection with the rook is the precise extent to which the bird is the farmer's enemy or his friend.

    Birds in the Calendar

  • The rook is a villain, yet there is something irresistible in the effrontery with which one will hop sidelong on a gorging gull, which beats a hasty retreat before its sable rival, leaving some half-prized shellfish to be swallowed at sight or carried to the greedy little beaks in the tree-tops.

    Birds in the Calendar

  • They say the rook is a very long-lived bird, and I feel as if I could swear to the way they are cawing.

    A Dark Night's Work

  • POSITION OR MATERIALThere is one case which can be treated as positional or material, namely the rook's pawn, which differs from other pawns in that it can only capture one way instead of two.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • from Middle English rok, from Middle French roc, from Arabic rukh, from Persian رخ rukh (=chess piece)

    August 31, 2009

  • A group of rooks is called "a parliament of rooks". Neil Gaiman explains why in his comic Sandman (#40):

    "You'll get a field. Empty. Suddenly, the sky is black with birds, and they fall like a ragged black rain onto a field, covering it completely. Or almost completely... in the center of the field, there's an empty space. And in the middle of that space sits one lone rook. It caws, and calls, and caws some more. Then thousand little eyes stare at it, unflinching. Sometimes they call out, as if they're asking questions. It's like a parliament. It's like a trial. The lone rook continues to caw and the others wait. This can go on for hours. From dawn till near dusk.

    Only one of two things could happen. Either the birds take wing as one, leaving the lone rook alone in the field...or, again as one, they fall on the bird, and peck it to death. Why? It's a mystery."

    May 23, 2009

  • a piercing on the antihelix of the ear.

    May 22, 2009

  • "Like many other members of the Corvidae family, the rook features prominently in folklore. Traditionally, rooks are said to be able to forecast weather and to sense the approach of death. If a rookery — the colonial nesting area of rooks — were abandoned, it was said to bring bad fortune for the family that owned the land. Another folk-tale holds that rooks are responsible for escorting the souls of the virtuous dead to heaven. William Butler Yeats may be making reference to the latter tale in his poem The Cold Heaven."


    November 23, 2008

  • On the stiff twig up there

    Hunches a wet black rook

    Arranging and rearranging his feathers in the rain.

    from "Black Rook in Rainy Weather," Sylvia Plath

    March 26, 2008

  • Rook is a trick-taking game, usually played with a specialized deck of cards. Sometimes referred to as "Christian cards" or "missionary poker", Rook playing cards were introduced by Parker Brothers in 1906 to provide an alternative to standard playing cards for those in the Puritan tradition who considered the face cards in a regular deck inappropriate because of their association with gambling and cartomancy.


    January 28, 2008

  • However, there is a move called castling, involving the rook.

    November 30, 2007

  • The chess piece is called a rook, not a castle.

    February 21, 2007