A rookie is someone who’s new at something. The young football player who’s just joined the NFL is a rookie, and if you just started your restaurant job yesterday, you’re a rookie too.

Police officers and members of the military also call recent recruits rookies. This word can also function as an adjective to describe something related to newbies — like a “rookie season” or a “rookie quarterback.” The word’s origin is a bit hazy, though it may come from the disparaging secondary meaning of rook, “a cheat,” or more appropriately, “someone who’s easily cheated.”

Definitions of rookie
  1. noun

    an awkward and inexperienced youth

    cub, greenhorn
    see moresee less

    type of:

    beginner, initiate, novice, tiro, tyro

    someone new to a field or activity

Word Family