1. A place where winged animals, especially birds or bats, rest or sleep.
2. A group of animals in a roost.
3. A place for temporary rest or sleep: "One corner of the Panhandle served as a roost for outlaws, thieves, and killers" (Timothy Egan).
intr.v. roost·ed, roost·ing, roostsIdioms:
1. To rest or sleep on a perch or in a roost.
2. To rest or sleep: "We roosted high on a hill with a bottle of cheap wine and a blanket" (Julie Auer).
come home to roost
To have repercussions or aftereffects, especially unfavorable ones: The consequences of your mistake will eventually come home to roost.
rule the roost Informal
To be in charge; dominate: In this house my parents rule the roost.
[Middle English rooste, from Old English hrōst.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.