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[root, rout] /rut, raʊt/
a course, way, or road for passage or travel:
What's the shortest route to Boston?
a customary or regular line of passage or travel:
a ship on the North Atlantic route.
a specific itinerary, round, or number of stops regularly visited by a person in the performance of his or her work or duty:
a newspaper route; a mail carrier's route.
verb (used with object), routed, routing.
to fix the route of:
to route a tour.
to send or forward by a particular route:
to route mail to its proper destination.
go the route, Informal.
  1. to see something through to completion:
    It was a tough assignment, but he went the route.
  2. Baseball. to pitch the complete game:
    The heat and humidity were intolerable, but the pitcher managed to go the route.
1175-1225; Middle English: way, course < Old French < Latin rupta (via) broken (road), feminine past participle of rumpere to break; cf. rout1
Related forms
misroute, verb (used with object), misrouted, misrouting.
preroute, verb (used with object), prerouted, prerouting.
reroute, verb, rerouted, rerouting.
Can be confused
root, rout, route.
3. beat, circuit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for routes
  • From there, it spread across the country by way of shipping routes and interstates.
  • His truck routes also made it easy for him to maintain connections with sources.
  • He also has the same difficulty with places and often becomes lost when he strays from familiar routes.
  • If there are disruptions, you get further details, including alternate routes.
  • Then he went off to scout the escape routes and stairways.
  • Imagine that there are two routes that take you to work: one a long wide freeway and the other a short, narrow bridge.
  • Extensive evacuation would be impossible because the surging water would cut off the few escape routes.
  • Researchers are pursuing several different routes toward power generation on a miniature scale.
  • The path through the wormhole is topologically distinct from other routes one could follow to the same destination.
  • Opens up routes to many seemingly unresolvable issues.
British Dictionary definitions for routes


the choice of roads taken to get to a place
a regular journey travelled
(capital) (US) a main road between cities: Route 66
(mountaineering) the direction or course taken by a climb
(med) the means by which a drug or agent is administered or enters the body, such as by mouth or by injection: oral route
verb (transitive) routes, routing, routeing, routed
to plan the route of; send by a particular route
Usage note
When forming the present participle or verbal noun from the verb to route it is preferable to retain the e in order to distinguish the word from routing, the present participle or verbal noun from rout1, to defeat or rout2, to dig, rummage: the routeing of buses from the city centre to the suburbs. The spelling routing in this sense is, however, sometimes encountered, esp in American English
Word Origin
C13: from Old French rute, from Vulgar Latin rupta via (unattested), literally: a broken (established) way, from Latin ruptus broken, from rumpere to break, burst
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for routes



early 13c., from Old French rute "road, way, path" (12c.), from Latin rupta (via) "(a road) opened by force," from rupta, fem. past participle of rumpere "to break" (see rupture (n.)). Sense of "fixed or regular course for carrying things" (cf. mail route) is 1792, an extension of the meaning "customary path of animals" (early 15c.).


1890, from route (n.). Related: Routed; routing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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