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

  • n. A perch on which domestic fowl or other birds rest or sleep.
  • n. A place with perches for fowl or other birds.
  • n. A place for temporary rest or sleep.
  • intransitive v. To rest or sleep on or as if on a perch or roost.
  • idiom come home to roost To have repercussions or aftereffects, especially unfavorable ones: The consequences of your mistake will eventually come home to roost.
  • idiom rule the roost Informal To be in charge; dominate: In this house my parents rule the roost.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The place where a bird sleeps (usually its nest or a branch).
  • v. sleep.
  • v. to come back home
  • n. A tidal race.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Roast.
  • transitive v. See roust, v. t.
  • n. The pole or other support on which fowls rest at night; a perch.
  • n. A collection of fowls roosting together.
  • intransitive v. To sit, rest, or sleep, as fowls on a pole, limb of a tree, etc.; to perch.
  • intransitive v. Fig.; To lodge; to rest; to sleep.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A pole or perch upon which fowls rest at night; any place upon which a bird may perch to rest; also, a locality where birds, as pigeons, habitually spend the night.
  • n. Hence A temporary abiding- or resting-place.
  • n. The fowls which occupy such a roost, collectively.
  • n. The inner roof of a cottage, composed of spars reaching from one wall to the other; a garret. Jamieson. [Scotch.]
  • To occupy a roost; perch, as a bird.
  • To stick or stay upon a resting-place; cling or adhere to a rest, as a limpet on a rock.
  • To set or perch, as a bird on a roost: used reflexively.
  • See roust.

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

  • v. sit, as on a branch
  • n. a shelter with perches for fowl or other birds
  • v. settle down or stay, as if on a roost
  • n. a perch on which domestic fowl rest or sleep


Middle English rooste, from Old English hrōst.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English hrōst. (Wiktionary)
From Old Norse rōst (Wiktionary)



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  • Manx, "bark," equivalent to Old Irish rúsc, Welsh rhisg(l). (Not sure if this means bark as in a tree, or bark like a dog, but I'm guessing the former.)

    April 23, 2009