1 [roht]
routine; a fixed, habitual, or mechanical course of procedure: the rote of daily living.
proceeding mechanically and repetitiously; being mechanical and repetitious in nature; routine; habitual: rote performance; rote implementation; His behavior became more rote with every passing year.
by rote, from memory, without thought of the meaning; in a mechanical way: to learn a language by rote.

1275–1325; Middle English; of obscure origin Unabridged


2 [roht]
noun Music.
Also, rota, rotta, rotte.

1350–1400; Middle English < Old French < Frankish *hrota (compare Old High German hruozza); akin to crowd2


3 [roht]
the sound of waves breaking on the shore.

1600–10; perhaps < Old Norse rauta ‘roar’ Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rote1 (rəʊt)
1.  a habitual or mechanical routine or procedure
2.  by rote by repetition; by heart (often in the phrase learn by rote)
[C14: origin unknown]

rote2 (rəʊt)
an ancient violin-like musical instrument; crwth
[C13: from Old French rote, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German rotta, Middle Dutch rotte]

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

c.1300, in phrase bi rote "by heart," of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be connected with O.Fr. rote "route" (see route), or from L. rota "wheel" (see rotary), but O.E.D. calls both suggestions groundless.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see by heart (rote).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


medieval European stringed musical instrument. The name is frequently applied to the boxlike lyres with straight or waisted sides frequently pictured in medieval illustrations of musical instruments. Some surviving writings, however, indicate that contemporary writers may have applied the name to the harp. The rotta probably originated in Ireland as the cruit and spread to the European continent. The Irish name is related to crwth, the Welsh bowed lyre.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The once-popular rote learning had a valuable place in verbal as opposed to
  literate cultures.
Most courses are so strongly geared towards rote memorization that critical
  thought can often be found lacking.
In a sane society, school and education would focus on teaching these concepts,
  rather than rote memorization and taking orders.
The methods were outdated and centered around rote memorization and translation.
Idioms & Phrases
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