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From Middle English rote, further origin unknown. Likely from the phrase bi (“by”) rote (“heart”), c. 1300. Some have proposed a relationship either with Old French rote/rute (“route”), or Latin rota (“wheel”) (see rotary), but the OED calls both suggestions groundless.
- (Should we delete this sense?) The process of learning or committing something to memory through mechanical repetition, usually by hearing and repeating aloud, often without full attention to comprehension or thought for the meaning.
- Mechanical routine; a fixed, habitual, repetitive, or mechanical course of procedure.
- By repetition or practice.
From Old Norse rót n (“tossing, pitching (of sea)”), perhaps related to rauta (“to roar”).
rote (plural rotes)