a perch upon which birds or fowls rest at night.
a large cage, house, or place for fowls or birds to roost in.
a place for sitting, resting, or lodging.
verb (used without object)
to sit or rest on a roost, perch, etc.
to settle or stay, especially for the night.
come home to roost, (of an action) to revert or react unfavorably to the doer; boomerang: an evil deed that came home to roost and ruined his life.
rule the roost, to be in charge or control; dominate: It was only too apparent that his grandfather ruled the roost.

before 1100; Middle English roost (noun), Old English hrōst; cognate with Middle Dutch roest

unroosted, adjective
unroosting, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
roost (ruːst)
1.  a place, perch, branch, etc, where birds, esp domestic fowl, rest or sleep
2.  a temporary place to rest or stay
3.  rule the roost See rule
4.  (intr) to rest or sleep on a roost
5.  (intr) to settle down or stay
6.  come home to roost to have unfavourable repercussions
[Old English hrōst; related to Old Saxon hrost loft, German Rost grid]

Roost (ruːst)
the Roost a powerful current caused by conflicting tides around the Shetland and Orkney Islands
[C16: from Old Norse röst]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late O.E. hrost "wooden framework of a roof, perch," from a Gmc. source, related to O.S. hrost, M.Du., Flem., Du. roest, roost "framework of a roof," O.N. hrot, Goth. hrot "roof." Exact relationship and ulterior connections unknown. The verb is from 1530. To rule the roost is recorded from 1769.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see chickens come home to roost; rule the roost.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Pileated woodpeckers live in forests that have large trees, which they need to roost and nest in.
And this meant, by and large, that she ruled the roost.
True, oligarchs rule the roost in both countries, with politicians as their
Find a safe roost out of the rain, but as soon as the sun returns, go out and
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