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Middle English, origin uncertain. Likely from the phrase bi rote (“by heart”), c.1300. Some have proposed a relationship either with Old French rote/rute (“route”), or [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] rota (“‘wheel’”) (see rotary), but the O.E.D. calls both suggestions groundless.
- Rare, unrelated "roar of the surf" sense is c.1600, from Old Norse rot (“breaking of waves”), perhaps related to rauta (“roar”).
- (usually in the phrase by rote) The process of committing something to memory through repetition, in a mechanical way, usually by hearing and repeating aloud, often without full attention to comprehension or thought for the meaning.
- They didn't have copies of the music for everyone, so most of us had to learn the song by rote.
- Mechanical routine; a fixed, habitual, repetitive, or mechanical course of procedure.
- The pastoral scenes from those commercials don't bear too much resemblance to the rote of daily life on a farm.
- (rare) The roar of the surf; the sound of waves breaking on the shore.
- This noun is mostly found in the phrase "by rote", and in attributive use: "rote learning", "rote memorization", and so on. It is not normally considered an adjective, but the derived adverb rotely is attested.
- Inflected form of rot.
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