Definition of roustabout in English:

roustabout

Syllabification: roust·a·bout
Pronunciation: /ˈroustəˌbout
 
/

noun

  • 1An unskilled or casual laborer.
    More example sentences
    • It's the place of choice for all sorts of hard-living roustabouts who come into town to blow off a little steam after long days, weeks or even months of toil in the mines and lumber camps.
    • You never know whether you're talking to a roustabout or someone with a PhD in physical science.
    • He was a roustabout, he herded sheep, he was a streetcar motorman.
  • 1.1A laborer on an oil rig.
    More example sentences
    • While there is no hardship pay for working offshore, entry-level roustabouts on the drilling rig still begin at about $30,000 per year.
    • During the interior secretary's tenure in the 1980s, he jumped to more lucrative work as a pumper, roughneck, and roustabout on Wyoming's oil wells.
    • The bump-backs cascade down the hierarchy of skills and seniority; the roustabouts and roughnecks in lesser-skilled positions and typically of recent hire go walking.
  • 1.2North American A dock laborer or deckhand.
    More example sentences
    • A rig could be brought from Singapore or Perth and there would be opportunities for Hawke's Bay people to work on it as roustabouts and engineers.
  • 1.3North American A circus laborer.
    More example sentences
    • The race quickly becomes a contest between Borghese's Italia and the Spyker, driven by a Dutch circus roustabout.
    • He had a rich and varied career, as fairground boxer, circus roustabout, cartoonist, poster designer, trades-union journal editor, television presenter, and towards the end of his life, psychotherapist.
    • Every one of the musicians in the orchestra have spent uncounted numbers of hours to become the fine, cohesive, interpretive group they are and you treat them like three-ring roustabouts.

Origin

mid 19th century: from the verb roust.

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