1. a course, way, or road for passage or travel: What’s the shortest route to Boston?
  2. a customary or regular line of passage or travel: a ship on the North Atlantic route.
  3. 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), rout·ed, rout·ing.

  1. to fix the route of: to route a tour.
  2. to send or forward by a particular route: to route mail to its proper destination.
  1. go the route, Informal.
    1. to see something through to completion: It was a tough assignment, but he went the route.
    2. pitch the complete game: The heat and humidity were intolerable, but the pitcher managed to go the route.

verb (tr)

  1. to route or direct (traffic, a road, a river, etc) in a different direction
  2. to change the direction of (a project, funds, etc)


  1. the choice of roads taken to get to a place
  2. a regular journey travelled
  3. (capital) US a main road between citiesRoute 66
  4. mountaineering the direction or course taken by a climb
  5. med the means by which a drug or agent is administered or enters the body, such as by mouth or by injectionoral route

verb routes, routing, routeing or routed (tr)

  1. to plan the route of; send by a particular route

also reroute, 1929, of mails, from re- “back, again” + route (v.). Related: Rerouted; rerouting.


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.

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