• (British) IPA: /ˈɹuːstə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈɹustəɹ/, enPR: roo͞'stər

rooster (plural roosters)

  1. (North America, Kent, Australia, NZ) A male domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) or other gallinaceous bird.
    • 1772 March 14, A.G. Winslow, Diary:
      Their other dish […] contain'd a number of roast fowls—half a dozen, we suppose, & all roosters at this season no doubt.
    • 1836, Catharine Parr Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, p. 308:
      The produce of two hens and a cock, or rooster, as the Yankees term that bird.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, iii, xvi, p. 616:
      Chalk a circle for a rooster.
  2. A bird or bat which roosts or is roosting.
    • 1949, British Birds, 42, p. 323:
      The more leisured flight of the roosters [sc. starlings] was in contrast to the steady procession of the migrants.
  3. (figuratively, obsolete slang) An informer.
  4. (figuratively, obsolete slang) A violent or disorderly person.
  5. (figuratively) A powerful, prideful, or pompous person.
  6. (figuratively, originally US slang, now chiefly NZ) A man.
  7. (regional US, historical) A wild violet, when used in a children's game based on cockfighting.
    • 1946, Conrad Richter, The Fields, p. 231:
      In April they played Hens and Roosters, yoking their wild white and blue violets to see which would get its head pulled off.
  8. (obsolete US slang) Legislation solely devised to benefit the legislators proposing it.
    • 1869 July, Southern Review, p. 54:
      American demoralisation... has carried rooster into the halls of republican legislation, where it indicates a bill or proposed law which will remunerate the legislators.
Synonyms Related terms Translations
Proper noun
  1. The tenth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.

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