A Word A Day : Rout

Sunday, 13th April 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Verb & Noun )

Past and past participle : routed
Present participle : routing
3rd person present singular : routs

Pronunciation : ro-ut


1. A disorderly retreat or flight following defeat

2. An overwhelming defeat

3. A disorderly crowd of people

4. People of the lowest class

5. A public disturbance

6. A company, as of knights or wolves, that are in movement

7. To put to disorderly flight or retreat

8. To defeat overwhelmingly

A rout is commonly defined as a chaotic and disorderly retreat or withdrawal of troops from a battlefield, resulting in the victory of the opposing party, or following defeat, a collapse of discipline, or poor morale.

A rout is also a synonym for an overwhelming defeat as well as a verb meaning to put to disorderly retreat or to defeat utterly and is often used in sports to describe a blowout.


Middle English route from Old French, troop, defeat, from Vulgar Latin rupta from feminine of Latin ruptus, past participle of rumpere to break.


beating, defeat, drubbing, overthrow, thrashing, vanquishment, beat, best, conquer, defeat, master, overcome


victory, lose, win

Contextual Examples:

• Did the home team rout the visiting team?

• This film is about the flock of starlings which Jasper had routed with his gun.

• Scarcely had the battle begun when a great rout overwhelmed the Mice who scampered off as fast as they could to their holes.

• He has the skills to rout an opponent in conversation.

Related Words:

routs : Noun - Plural

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