1An unskilled or casual labourer.
- 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 labourer on an oil rig.
- 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.
1.3North American A circus labourer.
- 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.
1.4Australian /NZ variant spelling of rouseabout.
Mid 19th century: from the verb roust.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: roust|about
Definition of roustabout in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.