Meaning of ROOM in English


I. ˈrüm, ˈru̇m noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English roum, from Old English rūm; akin to Old High German, Old Norse, & Gothic rūm room, space; all from a prehistoric Germanic noun derived from an adjective represented by Old English rūm roomy, spacious, Old High German rūmi, Old Norse rūmr, Gothic rūms; akin to Latin rur-, rus country, open land, Middle Irish rōe, rōi level field, Avestan ravah space, distance


a. : unoccupied area : space

increasing population requires more room

infinity of room in the reaches of the universe

b. : unoccupied area or space sufficient for additional accommodation

room at the inn

room for pasture

room to swing a cat in

tearing down tenements to make room for new building


a. : a particular area or limited portion of space : compass

plenty of room between the houses

a small car requires little room

the sonnet's narrow room of 14 lines — O.S.J.Gogarty

b. Scotland : a piece of land : holding , farm


a. obsolete : a place or station assigned to a person or thing

b. obsolete : an office or position attributed to a particular person : rank , post

and therein placed a race of upstart creatures, to supply perhaps our vacant room — John Milton


(1) : a place or station formerly occupied by another

in whose room I am now assuming the pen — Sir Walter Scott

be thou in Adam's room the head of all mankind — John Milton

(2) archaic : place , stead

substitute judgment in the room of sensation — Joseph Butler


a. : a part of the inside of a building, shelter, or dwelling usually set off by a partition

15 room colonial mansion … for rest or convalescent home — advt

: chamber ; especially : such a part used as a lodging

goes back to his furnished room — Norman Mailer

the individual who actually assigns guests to their rooms — Don Short

b. rooms plural : a suite or set of rooms used for lodging : apartment , flat

sells his house and takes rooms in the city

c. : lodging consisting of a room usually specifically earned or furnished

room , board, and the return trip home … were paid for — Newsweek

— compare room and board

d. : the people or an assemblage gathered in a room

attract the attention of the whole room

5. : the opportunity, occasion, or capacity for something (as an action, development, or mental process)

room to hope

room to improve

room for argument

room in morality for the high aspiration, the courageous decision — Havelock Ellis

room in art and in civilization for many kinds of art — Thomas Munro

no room in his mind for that malaise — Van Wyck Brooks

6. : a chamber in which coal is mined — called also breast, stall


berth , elbowroom , clearance , leeway , margin , play : room is a general term for unfilled open space without obstruction or encumbrance to free activity

space is room … and room is roominess, a chance to be, live and move — John Dewey

It may also indicate an adequate occasion, opportunity, or capacity

not alone in believing Mexico's behavior left no room for peaceful settlement — R.A.Billington

which never arrived at so high a point of definition but that it left great room for disputes — G.G.Coulton

berth , orig. maneuvering space for a ship, still indicates a separation by wide clear space in various idioms

classified as the only venomous snake and is deservedly given a wide berth — American Guide Series: Delaware

elbowroom indicates adequate free space for physical activity or, by extension, freedom from cramping constraint

the Swiss, who have always liked plenty of elbowroom in their business dealings, are considerably irked by the restrictions of postwar trading — Mollie Panter-Downes

clearance as a synonym in this series stresses lack of obstruction; it is used in connection with the physical fact of a clear space around a moving object or with the indication that there is no objection, reservation, or check against free procedure

the new tunnels provide clearance for the largest trucks

the steel industry refused to make any wage proposals until it obtained federal clearance for higher steel prices — Current History

leeway may indicate a reserve resource or advantageous characteristic not earmarked or calculated on, an allowed tolerance, or a measure of personal discretion or freedom from restriction in activity

leeway of a few minutes to change planes

in many more or less routine matters the Union government allows them a considerable amount of leeway — F.A.Ogg & Harold Zink

margin in this sense is like leeway in suggesting a reserve for contingencies and emergencies or a reserve of any sort facilitating free and easy procedure

the most dogged, strong-minded ones, who find themselves with a margin of intellectual freshness and inquisitiveness at the end of the day — W.N.Francis

play applies to the fact of free movement or action without severe checks or cramping surroundings, especially to reactions to force or stress without more than incidental suggestions about ample space or roominess

the play of a gusty wind — Amy Lowell

planning versus the play of the free market — Times Literary Supplement

a world in which affection has free play, in which love is purged of the instinct for domination — Bertrand Russell

II. adverb

( usually -er/-est )

Etymology: obsolete room, adjective, roomy, spacious, from Middle English roum, rom, room, from Old English rūm — more at room I

obsolete : large 2

III. ˈrüm, ˈru̇m transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English roumen, from roum, adjective

archaic : to clear (a space) from encumbrance : make roomy or void

IV. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: room (I)

intransitive verb

: to occupy a room : lodge

the students room together in the dormitory

transitive verb

: to accommodate (a guest or roomer) with lodgings ; also : to convey to or install in a room

a bellman rooms the guests at the hotel

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.