General English



  • adjective cooked over a fire or in an oven
  • verb to cook over a fire or in an open pan in an oven

Origin & History of “roast”

Roast can be traced back ultimately to a prehistoric west Germanic term for a ‘metal grid for cooking things on’. From this was derived the verb *raustjan, which evolved into German rösten and Dutch roosten. there is no trace of it in Old English, however: English got it via Old French rostir, which had been borrowed from Germanic. A derivative of Dutch roosten was rooster ‘gridiron’. The resemblance between a gridiron pattern and lines ruled on paper led to the metaphorical use of rooster for ‘list, table’ – whence English roster (18th c.).