Route Vs Root

Root Or Route – Grammar Tip

root vs routeI was creating some prep work for one of my client’s private VIP days and needed to use the word root. I actually paused for a second, because I had to review in my “mental dictionary” whether or not I had used the word correctly. So anytime I second guess myself about the use of a word, even for a split second, I like to add it here on my site — because I figure there could be a few other people who need a little clarity around the terms as well.

So here we go…root vs route.

In the U.S., we sometimes get confused with the usage of root and route because we are pronouncing route with the oo sound instead of the ow sound. The two words have totally different meanings. You just have to remember which is which.


I typically think of root as the lower part of a plant which is underground. The roots of a tree. Or a carrot is a root vegetable. Yet root has several other definitions and usages:

To dig with your nose or snout – “The pig was rooting for food in the garden.”

To rummage through something – “The dog was rooting through the garbage.”

To cheer or give verbal encouragement for something – “I’m rooting for my alma mater during the game.”


I pretty much think of a map or directions when I hear the term route and that’s because that pretty much is the only definition for the word:

A route indicates a road, course, or way from one place to another, a customary line of travel, a means of reaching a goal, a fixed course for a salesperson or delivery person, or to send on a route.

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