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

  • intransitive v. To wander about at random, especially over a wide area; roam.
  • transitive v. To roam or wander around, over, or through. See Synonyms at wander.
  • n. An act of wandering about, over, around, or through.
  • transitive v. To card (wool).
  • transitive v. To put (fibers) through an eye or opening.
  • transitive v. To stretch and twist (fibers) before spinning; ravel out.
  • n. A slightly twisted and extended fiber or sliver.
  • v. Nautical A past tense and a past participle of reeve2.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To shoot with arrows (at).
  • v. To roam, or wander about at random, especially over a wide area.
  • v. To card wool or other fibres.
  • v. Simple past of rive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A copper washer upon which the end of a nail is clinched in boat building.
  • n. A roll or sliver of wool or cotton drawn out and slighty twisted, preparatory to further process; a roving.
  • n. The act of wandering; a ramble.
  • intransitive v. To practice robbery on the seas; to wander about on the seas in piracy.
  • intransitive v. Hence, to wander; to ramble; to rauge; to go, move, or pass without certain direction in any manner, by sailing, walking, riding, flying, or otherwise.
  • intransitive v. To shoot at rovers; hence, to shoot at an angle of elevation, not at point-blank (rovers usually being beyond the point-blank range).
  • transitive v. To draw through an eye or aperture.
  • transitive v. To draw out into flakes; to card, as wool.
  • transitive v. To twist slightly; to bring together, as slivers of wool or cotton, and twist slightly before spinning.
  • transitive v. To wander over or through.
  • transitive v. To plow into ridges by turning the earth of two furrows together.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To wander at pleasure or without definite aim; pass the time in going about freely; range at random, or as accident or fancy may determine; roam; ramble.
  • To aim, as in archery or other sport, especially at some accidental or casual mark. See roving mark, below.
  • To act the rover; lead a wandering life of robbery, especially on the high seas; rob.
  • To have rambling thoughts; be in a delirium; rave; be light-headed; hence, to be in high spirits; be full of fun and frolic. [Scotch.]
  • Synonyms Roam, Wander, etc. See ramble, v.
  • To wander over; roam about.
  • . To discharge or shoot, as an arrow, at rovers, or in roving. See rover, 5.
  • To plow into ridges, as a field, by turning one furrow upon another.
  • To draw through an eye or aperture; bring, as wool or cotton, into the form which it receives before being spun into thread; card into flakes. as wool, etc.; slub; sliver.
  • To draw out into thread; ravel out.
  • In mech., to turn; make round: said particularly of turning stone: as, to rove a millstone.
  • n. The act of roving; a ramble; a wandering.
  • n. A roll of wool, cotton, etc., drawn out and slightly twisted; a slub.
  • n. A diamond-shaped washer placed over the end of a rove clench-nail, which is riveted down upon it.
  • n. Preterit and past participle of reeve.
  • n. An obsolete form of roof.
  • n. A unit of weight, the arroba, formerly used in England.

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

  • v. move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment


Middle English roven, to shoot arrows at a mark.
Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Of uncertain origin; perhaps a dialectal form of rave. (Wiktionary)
Inflected forms. (Wiktionary)



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