Rout


Rout

A rout is commonly defined as a chaotic and disorderly retreat or withdrawal of troops from a battlefield, resulting in the victory of the opposing party, or following defeat, a collapse of discipline, or poor morale. A routed army often degenerates into a sense of "every man for himself" as the surviving combatants attempt to flee to safety. A disorganized rout often results in much higher casualties for the retreating force than an orderly withdrawal. On many occasions, more soldiers are killed in the rout than in the actual battle. Normally, though not always, routs either effectively end a battle, or provide the decisive victory the winner needs to gain the momentum with which to end a battle in their favor.

It can also be a form of evening party.

History

Historically, lightly equipped soldiers such as auxiliaries, light cavalry, partisans or militia were important when pursuing a fast-moving routing enemy force and could often keep up the pursuit into the following day, causing the routing army heavy casualties or total dissolution. The slower moving heavy forces could then either seize objectives or pursue at leisure. However, with the advent of armoured warfare and blitzkrieg style operations, an enemy army can be kept more or less in a routing or disorganized state for days or weeks on end.

Tactics

Routs may be feigned to entice an enemy into pursuing the "retreating" force, with the intent of causing the enemy to abandon a strong defensive position or leading the enemy into a prepared ambush. It is thought that Breton cavalry performed this maneuver at the Battle of Hastings. However, this is a high-risk tactic, as the feigned-rout may often develop into a real rout.

Evening assembly

[
James Gillray caricatured fashion in an 18th-century rout.]

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the word "rout" was commonly used to mean a large party or fashionable evening assembly, but this is now described as an archaic use. [Kirkpatrick, ed. "Chambers 20th Century Dictionary" (1983 edition)]

Other uses of the term

A rout is also a synonym for an overwhelming defeat as well as a verb meaning "to put to disorderly retreat" or "to defeat utterly", and is often used in sports to describe a blowout.

Can also be found as "rought" in Great Britain.

See also

*Crowd psychology

References


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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rout — Rout, n. [OF. route, LL. rupta, properly, a breaking, fr. L. ruptus, p. p. of rumpere to break. See {Rupture}, {reave}, and cf. {Rote} repetition of forms, {Route}. In some senses this word has been confused with rout a bellowing, an uproar.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rout — rout1 [rout] n. [ME route < OFr, troop, band, lit., part broken off < L rupta: see ROUTE] 1. a disorderly crowd; noisy mob; rabble 2. a disorderly flight or retreat, as of defeated troops [to be put to rout] 3. an overwhelming defeat 4.… …   English World dictionary

  • rout — rout·ous; rout·ous·ly; de·rout; rout; rout·er; …   English syllables

  • Rout — Rout, n. A bellowing; a shouting; noise; clamor; uproar; disturbance; tumult. Shak. [1913 Webster] This new book the whole world makes such a rout about. Sterne. [1913 Webster] My child, it is not well, I said, Among the graves to shout; To laugh …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rout — Rout, v. t. [A variant of root.] To scoop out with a gouge or other tool; to furrow. [1913 Webster] {To rout out} (a) To turn up to view, as if by rooting; to discover; to find. (b) To turn out by force or compulsion; as, to rout people out of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rout — (rout), v. i. [AS. hr[=u]tan.] To roar; to bellow; to snort; to snore loudly. [Obs. or Scot.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Rout — Rout, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Routed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Routing}.] To break the ranks of, as troops, and put them to flight in disorder; to put to rout. [1913 Webster] That party . . . that charged the Scots, so totally routed and defeated their… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rout — (rout , et, plus souvent, raout ) s. m. Assemblée nombreuse de personnes du grand monde. •   Je pris à l Arsenal un jour pour recevoir du monde ; mais heureusement les routs n étaient pas encore introduits en France, GENLIS Mém. t. V, p. 188,… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • rout — Ⅰ. rout [1] ► NOUN 1) a disorderly retreat of defeated troops. 2) a decisive defeat. 3) archaic a disorderly or tumultuous crowd of people. ► VERB ▪ defeat utterly and force to retreat. ORIGIN obsolete French …   English terms dictionary

  • rout|er — rout|er1 «ROW tuhr», noun, verb. –n. 1. any one of various tools or machines for hollowing out or furrowing. 2. a person who routs. –v.t. to hollow out with a router. ╂[< rout2 + er1] rout|er2 «ROO uhr, ROW », noun. 1. a person who arranges a …   Useful english dictionary

  • Rout — Rout, v. i. To search or root in the ground, as a swine. Edwards. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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