roughshod (adj.)
also rough-shod, 1680s, from rough (adj.) + shod. Originally of horses shod with the nails projecting from the shoe, to prevent slipping.
roulette (n.)
1734, "small wheel," from French roulette "gambling game played with a revolving wheel," literally "small wheel," from Old French roelete "little wheel" (12c.), formed on model of Late Latin rotella, diminutive of Latin rota "wheel" (see rotary). The game of chance so-called from 1745.
round (adj.)
late 13c., from Anglo-French rounde, Old French roont (12c., Modern French rond), probably originally *redond, from Vulgar Latin *retundus (source also of Provençal redon, Spanish redondo, Old Italian ritondo), from Latin rotundus "like a wheel, circular, round," related to rota "wheel" (see rotary).

As an adverb from c.1300; as a preposition from c.1600. In many uses it is a shortened form of around. The French word is the source of Middle Dutch ront (Dutch rond), Middle High German runt (German rund) and similar Germanic words.

Of numbers from mid-14c., from earlier sense "full, complete, brought to completion" (mid-14c., notion of symmetry extended to that of completeness). First record of round trip is from 1844, originally of railways. Round heels attested from 1926, in reference to incompetent boxers, 1927 in reference to loose women, in either case implying an inability to avoid ending up flat on one's back.
round (n.)
early 14c., "a spherical body," from round (adj.) and Old French roond. Compare Dutch rond, Danish and Swedish rund, German runde, all nouns from adjectives. Meaning "large round piece of beef" is recorded from 1650s. Theatrical sense (in phrase in the round) is recorded from 1944. Sense of "circuit performed by a sentinel" is from 1590s; that of "recurring course of time" is from 1710. Meaning "song sung by two or more, beginning at different times" is from 1520s. Golfing sense attested from 1775. Meaning "quantity of liquor served to a company at one time" is from 1630s; that of "single bout in a fight or boxing match" is from 1812; "single discharge of a firearm" is from 1725. Sense of "recurring session of meetings or negotiations" is from 1964.
round (v.)
late 14c., "to make round," from round (adj.). Sense of "make a circuit round" is from 1590s. Sense of "bring to completeness" is from c.1600; meaning "to approximate (a number)" is from 1934. Meaning "turn round and face, turn on and assault" is from 1882. Round out "fill up" is from 1856. Related: Rounded; rounding.
round robin (n.)
"petition or complaint signed in a circle to disguise the order in which names were affixed and prevent ringleaders from being identified," 1730, originally in reference to sailors and frequently identified as a nautical term. As a kind of tournament in which each player plays the others, it is recorded from 1895.
round-table (n.)
also roundtable, 1826 in reference to a gathering of persons in which all are accorded equal status (there being no head of a round table.) King Arthur's Round Table is attested from c.1300, translating Old French table ronde (1155, in Wace's Roman de Brut).
roundabout (adv.)
"by a circuitous route," mid-14c., from round (adv.) + about. As an adjective from c.1600. Noun sense of "traffic circle" is attested from 1927.
roundel (n.)
late 13c., "a circle," from Old French rondel "round dance; dance lyric; roundel," from rond "round" (see round (n.)).
roundelay (n.)
1570s, from Middle French rondelet, diminutive of rondel "short poem with a refrain," literally "small circle," diminutive of Old French rond "circle, sphere," originally an adjective from roont (see round (adj.)). Spelling developed by association with lay (n.) "poem to be sung."
rounder (n.)
1620s, "a sentinel," agent noun from round (n.) on notion of "one who makes the rounds." Sense of "chronic drunkard or criminal" is from 1854, on notion of one who is habitually in and out of jails or bars. Rounders, a baseball-like game, attested from 1828.
Roundhead (n.)
"adherent of the Parliamentary party in the English Civil War," 1641, so called for their custom of wearing the hair close-cropped, in contrast to the flowing curls of the cavaliers.
roundhouse (n.)
also round-house, "lock-up, place of detention," 1580s, from Dutch rondhuis "guardhouse." Meaning "circular shed for locomotives with a turntable in the center" is from 1856. Meaning "blow delivered with a wide sweep of the arm" is perhaps extended from "round building for circular machinery."
roundness (n.)
late 14c., from round (adj.) + -ness.
roundup (n.)
also round-up, by 1869 in the cattle drive sense; from verbal phrase round up "to collect in a mass" (1610s; specifically of livestock from 1847); see round (v.) + up (adv.). Meaning "summary of news items" is recorded from 1886.
rouse (v.)
mid-15c., intransitive probably from Anglo-French or Old French reuser, ruser, originally used in English of hawks shaking the feathers of the body, but like many hawking terms it is of obscure origin. Figurative meaning "to stir up, provoke to activity" is from 1580s; that of "awaken" is first recorded 1590s. Related: Roused; rousing.
rouser (n.)
1610s, agent noun from rouse (v.).
roust (v.)
1650s, probably an alteration of rouse. Related: Rousted; rousting.
roustabout (n.)
"deck hand, wharf worker," 1868, perhaps from roust + about. But another theory connects it to British dialect rousing "rough, shaggy," a word associated perhaps with rooster. With extended senses in U.S., including "circus hand" (1931); "manual laborer on an oil rig" (1948).
rout (n.)
1590s, "disorderly retreat following a defeat," from Middle French route "disorderly flight of troops," literally "a breaking off, rupture," from Vulgar Latin rupta "a dispersed group," literally "a broken group," from noun use of Latin rupta, fem. past participle of rumpere "to break" (see rupture (n.)).

The archaic English noun rout "group of persons, assemblage," is the same word, from Anglo-French rute, Old French route "host, troop, crowd," from Vulgar Latin rupta "a dispersed group," here with sense of "a division, a detachment." It first came to English meaning "group of soldiers" (early 13c.), also "gang of outlaws or rioters, mob" (c.1300) before the more general sense developed 14c. Also as a legal term. A rout-cake (1807) was one baked for use at a reception.
rout (v.)
"drive into disordered flight by defeat," c.1600, from rout (n.). Related: Routed; routing.
route (n.)
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" (as in mail route) is 1792, an extension of the meaning "customary path of animals" (early 15c.).
route (v.)
1890, from route (n.). Related: Routed; routing.
router (n.)
"cutter that removes wood from a groove," 1818, from rout "poke about, rummage" (1540s), originally of swine digging with the snout; a variant of root (v.1).
routine (n.)
1670s, from French routine "usual course of action, beaten path" (16c.), from route "way, path, course" (see route (n.)) + noun suffix -ine (see -ine (1)). Theatrical or athletic performance sense is from 1926. The adjective is attested from 1817, from the noun. Related: Routinely.
routinization (n.)
1916, noun of action from routinize (1893), from routine + -ize.
roux (n.)
sauce made from browned butter or fat, 1813, from French (beurre) roux "browned (butter)," from roux "red, reddish-brown," from Latin russus (see russet).
rove (v.)
"to wander with no fixed destination," 1530s (earliest sense was "to shoot arrows at a mark selected at pleasure or at random," late 15c.); possibly a Midlands dialectal variant of northern English and Scottish rave "to wander, stray," from Middle English raven, probably from Old Norse rafa "to wander, rove" (compare rave (v.)). Influenced by rover, if not a back-formation from it. Related: Roved; roving.
rover (n.)
late 14c., "sea-robber, pirate," from Middle Dutch rover "robber, predator, plunderer," especially in zeerovere "pirate," literally "sea-robber," from roven "to rob," from Middle Dutch roof "spoil, plunder," related to Old English reaf "spoil, plunder," reafian "to reave" (see reave (v.)). Meaning "remote-controlled surface vehicle" is from 1970.
row (n.1)
"line of people or things," Old English ræw "a row, line; succession, hedge-row," probably from Proto-Germanic *rai(h)waz (cognates: Middle Dutch rie, Dutch rij "row;" Old High German rihan "to thread," riga "line;" German Reihe "row, line, series;" Old Norse rega "string"), possibly from PIE root *rei- "to scratch, tear, cut" (cognates: Sanskrit rikhati "scratches," rekha "line"). Meaning "a number of houses in a line" is attested from mid-15c., originally chiefly Scottish and northern English. Phrase a hard row to hoe attested from 1823, American English.
row (v.)
"propel with oars," Old English rowan "go by water, row" (class VII strong verb; past tense reow, past participle rowen), from Proto-Germanic *ro- (cognates: Old Norse roa, Dutch roeien, West Frisian roeije, Middle High German rüejen), from PIE root *ere- (1) "to row" (cognates: Sanskrit aritrah "oar;" Greek eressein "to row," eretmon "oar," trieres "trireme;" Latin remus "oar;" Lithuanian iriu "to row," irklas "oar;" Old Irish rome "oar," Old English roðor "rudder").
row (n.2)
"noisy commotion," 1746, Cambridge University slang, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to rousel "drinking bout" (c.1600), a shortened form of carousal. Klein suggests a back-formation from rouse (n.), mistaken as a plural (compare pea from pease).
row-house (n.)
1913, American English, from row (n.1), which is attested from mid-15c. in sense of "a number of houses in a line," + house (n.).
rowan (n.)
"mountain ash," 1804, from rowan-tree, rountree (1540s), northern English and Scottish, from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse reynir, Swedish Ronn "the rowan"), ultimately from the root of red, in reference to the berries.
There were those in this neighbourhood, long after the beginning of the present century, who believed that a slip of rowan tree carried on their person dispelled glamour, and rendered nugatory all the powers of sorcery and witchcraft. [Alexander Laing, "Lindores Abbey and the Burgh of Newburgh," Edinburgh, 1876]
rowboat (n.)
also row-boat, 1530s, from row (v.) + boat. Similar formation in Dutch roeiboot.
rowdy (n.)
"a rough, quarrelsome person," 1808, American English, originally "lawless backwoodsman," probably from row (n.2). The adjective is first recorded 1819. Related: Rowdily; rowdiness.
rowel (n.)
"pointed wheel on a spur," mid-14c., from Old French roelle, roel (Modern French rouelle), "small wheel" (see roulette).
Roxanne
fem. proper name, from French, from Latin Roxane, from Greek Rhoxane, of Persian origin (compare Avestan raoxšna- "shining, bright"). Spelling influenced by Anne.
Roxy
cinema chain built by U.S. entertainment mogul Samuel L. "Roxy" Rothafel (1882-1936).
royal (adj.)
mid-13c., "fit for a king;" late 14c., "pertaining to a king," from Old French roial "royal, regal; splendid, magnificent" (12c., Modern French royal), from Latin regalis "of a king, kingly, royal, regal," from rex (genitive regis) "king" (see rex). Meaning "thorough, total" attested from 1940s; that of "splendid, first-rate" from 1853.

Battle royal (1670s) preserves the French custom of putting the adjective after the noun (as in attorney general); the sense of the adjective here is "on a grand scale" (compare pair-royal "three of a kind in cards or dice," c.1600). The Royal Oak was a tree in Boscobel in Shropshire in which Charles II hid himself during flight after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Sprigs of oak were worn to commemorate his restoration in 1660.
royal (n.)
"royal person," c.1400, from royal (adj.). Specifically "member of the royal family" from 1774.
royale (adj.)
French, literally "royal" (see royal).
royalist (n.)
1640s, from royal + -ist. In England, a partisan of Charles I and II during the Civil War; in the U.S., an adherent of British government during the Revolution; in France, a supporter of the Bourbons.
royally (adv.)
late 14c., "regally;" 1836, "gloriously," from royal (adj.) + -ly (2).
royalty (n.)
c.1400, "office or position of a sovereign," also "magnificence," from or modeled on Old French roialte (12c., Modern French royauté), from Vulgar Latin *regalitatem (nominative *regalitas), from Latin regalis (see royal). Sense of "prerogatives or rights granted by a sovereign to an individual or corporation" is from late 15c. From that evolved more general senses, such as "payment to a landowner for use of a mine" (1839), and ultimately "payment to an author, composer, etc." for sale or use of his or her work (1857). Compare realty.
rpg (n.)
by 1979, initialism (acronym) from role-playing game. As an initialism for rocket-propelled grenade, by 1970.
rpm
1906, initialism (acronym) from revolutions per minute.
rRNA (n.)
stands for ribosomal RNA.
rub (v.)
early 14c., transitive and intransitive, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to East Frisian rubben "to scratch, rub," and Low German rubbeling "rough, uneven," or similar words in Scandinavian (compare Danish rubbe "to rub, scrub," Norwegian rubba), of uncertain origin. Related: Rubbed; rubbing.

To rub (someone) the wrong way is from 1853; probably the notion is of cats' fur. To rub noses in greeting as a sign of friendship (attested from 1822) formerly was common among Eskimos, Maoris, and some other Pacific Islanders. Rub out "obliterate" is from 1560s; underworld slang sense of "kill" is recorded from 1848, American English. Rub off "remove by rubbing" is from 1590s; meaning "have an influence" is recorded from 1959.
rub (n.)
"act of rubbing," 1610s, from rub (v.); earlier "obstacle, inequality on ground" (1580s, common in 17c.) which is the figure in Hamlet's there's the rub (1602).