from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A continuous strand of loosely twisted and drawn fibers, such as wool, flax, silk, or cotton, ready to be spun.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of rambling or wandering.
  • noun Archery as practised by a rover. See rover, 4.
  • noun The process of giving the first twist to yarn, or of forming a rove.
  • noun A slightly twisted sliver of carded fiber, as wool or cotton; a rove.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The operatin of forming the rove, or slightly twisted sliver or roll of wool or cotton, by means of a machine for the purpose, called a roving frame, or roving machine.
  • noun A roll or sliver of wool or cotton drawn out and slightly twisted; a rove. See 2d Rove, 2.
  • noun a machine for drawing and twisting roves and twisting roves and winding them on bobbin for the spinning machine.
  • noun The act of one who roves or wanders.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective wandering freely.
  • verb Present participle of rove.
  • noun A long and narrow bundle of fibre, usually used to spin woollen yarn.

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

  • adjective migratory
  • noun travelling about without any clear destination


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • After one more postdoctoral year which I spent in "roving" mode, spending time at Oxford, Harvard and Illinois, in the autumn of 1967 I took up a lectureship at the University of Sussex, where I was to spend the next fifteen years of my career.

    Anthony J. Leggett - Autobiography 2004

  • Olly's Onions: Obama in roving eye furore skip to main | skip to sidebar

    Obama in roving eye furore 2009

  • The unteased roving is on the left, the teased is on the right.

    Spinning soft, fat yarn #1 2006

  • The unteased roving is on the left, the teased is on the right.

    February 2006 2006

  • But though by concealment he may preserve the unruffled surface of their happiness, yet the longing to be roving is not completely extinguished.

    Married Love: or, Love in Marriage 1918

  • With his glance roving from the quiet man to the quiet dog, he made a few tentative flutters toward the plate of cake.

    The Miller of Old Church 1911

  • Throughout the whole way, whether the eye and mind silently indulged in roving, or still better loved talk interrupted that, as it often did, Ellen was in a state of most unmixed and unruffled satisfaction.

    The Wide, Wide World 1892

  • His day was spent in roving through the bazar, exclaiming with a loud voice the above word,

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia 1856

  • Zuma Press In recent decades, the race has become known as a roving party in which participants don pink gorilla suits, storm trooper uniforms -- or, occasionally, go nude -- as they run, walk or stumble their way across the city.

    Bay to Breakers Aims for Sobriety 2011

  • In recent decades, it became known as a roving party in which participants who choose to wear clothes at all don costumes like pink gorilla suits as they run, walk or stumble their way across the city from San Francisco Bay to the waves, or breakers, of the Pacific Ocean.

    San Francisco's New Race Rules: Run Naked, Not Drunk Geoffrey A. Fowler 2011


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  • Her scant skirt spreads above her knees.

    Her hands lie folded in her lap.

    She looks ahead, and does not shrink

    To see the mixed crowd nudge and gape,

    While dirty men with roving eyes '

    Press close and whisper, 'Look!

    Tattooed wherever you can see!

    Say, she’s a walkin’ pitcher-book!'

    - Vine McCasland, 'Circus'.

    September 21, 2009

  • My adjectival use: 'They used a roving microphone.'

    August 24, 2011