Definition of room in English:


Line breaks: room
Pronunciation: /ruːm
, rʊm


  • 1 [mass noun] Space that can be occupied or where something can be done: there’s only room for a single bed in there she made room for Josh on the sofa [with infinitive]: he was trapped without room to move
    More example sentences
    • There is room in the safer areas for these children; householders have volunteered to provide it.
    • The man sat down between two people, so she didn't have room to move to see his face.
    • Small enough to be cosy, large enough to give her room to move if she wished it.
    space, free space; headroom, legroom; area, territory, expanse, extent, volume
    informal elbow room
  • 1.1Opportunity or scope for something to happen or be done: there’s room for improvement in the way the programme is managed [with infinitive]: a policy which left the government with very little room to manoeuvre
    More example sentences
    • But don't rest on your laurels; there will probably still be room for improvement.
    • She said of the three offices, one was doing extremely well while the other two had room for improvement.
    • There is plenty of room for anarchy in such a world, and plenty of room for utopianism, but no real place for the state.
    scope, capacity, margin, leeway, latitude, freedom; occasion, opportunity, chance
  • 2A part or division of a building enclosed by walls, floor, and ceiling: he wandered from room to room
    More example sentences
    • One of the delightful surprises is the ceiling of the toddler room on the second floor.
    • Finally, the attic conversion has added two further rooms with walls and ceilings panelled in white deal.
    • On the first floor the master bedroom and en suite bathroom are both spacious rooms with high ceilings.
    archaic chamber
  • 2.1The people present in a room: the whole room burst into an uproar of approval
    More example sentences
    • Others join in and the whole room burst into a riot of clapping, yells, and screaming.
    • Isis thought of how she would like to be able to quiet a whole room by just her presence.
    • We suggest with this game that rather than reporters popping up, there should be a whole room of reporters.
  • 2.2 (rooms) British A set of rooms, typically rented, in which a person, couple, or family live: my rooms at Mrs Jenks’s house
    More example sentences
    • They get the sign-painter's boy to help, because his family rents rooms in the schoolmaster's house.
    • Gwen and her family lived in the upper rooms of a small house and I knew from experience that the smell of too many people in too small a place hit a person the second they opened the front door.
    • He lives in rooms set apart from the rest of the house, to allow him some independence from his parents.
    lodgings, quarters; accommodation, a place, a place to stay, a billet; suite, apartments
    British informal digs
    formal abode


[no object] North American Back to top  
  • 1Share a room, house, or flat, especially a rented one at a college or similar institution: I was rooming with my cousin
    More example sentences
    • It was a phrase your father used on me back when we roomed together here at The Institute.
    • You might be rooming in the same dorm house you know.
    • I was simply tickled when I found out that we would be rooming together.
    lodge, board, have rooms; live, stay; be quartered, be housed, be billeted
    formal dwell, reside, be domiciled, sojourn
  • 1.1 [with object] Provide with a shared room or lodging: they roomed us together
    More example sentences
    • ‘An old acquaintance of mine will be rooming you for the night,’ Dann says.
    • Instead, I muttered, ‘Because it sucks being roomed with someone who dislikes me.’


no (or not) room to swing a cat

humorous Used in reference to a very confined space: there’s not even room to swing a cat!
[cat in the sense 'cat-o'-nine-tails']
More example sentences
  • You don't need to have been inside a dog trap yourself to understand that there isn't room to swing a cat in there,
  • We have a splendid cabin and there's plenty of room - but in most places there isn't room to swing a cat.

smoke-filled rooms

Used in reference to political decision-making conducted privately by a small group of influential people rather than more openly or democratically: he understands the party machine, the smoke-filled rooms, and the endless resolutions
More example sentences
  • We got into this mess because we needed to create political leadership opportunities and replace the smoke-filled room with the open-source, collaborative politics that is our future.
  • After the Civil War, said Bonpane, ‘Hayes agreed in a smoke-filled room to take the Yankee troops out of the South.’
  • The voters don't really participate in the primaries, and I think Sandy's got a point: not necessarily a smoke-filled room, but bring back party leadership.



[in combination]: a four-roomed house


noun (plural roomfuls)
More example sentences
  • Think about it: apart from dance class and the New Year's Eve countdown to midnight, wasn't kindergarten the last time you counted out loud with a roomful of other people?
  • We've sat titillated or mortified as we shared in this voyeuristic exercise with a roomful of strangers.
  • Is it your idea of fun to watch a roomful of under-educated monkeys sitting awkwardly in a studio for two hours?


Old English rūm, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch ruim, German Raum.

More definitions of room

Definition of room in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day mage
Pronunciation: meɪdʒ
a magician or learned person