I heard someone saying "rote memorization" and after that I found from another resource it is not correct to say "rote memorization" and instead it is said simply "rote". How is it correct to say: "Reading again and again is rote memorization" or "Reading again and again is rote"? This is just an example. I hope you understand what I need to know. And how would I properly use this word?

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


The phrase most commonly used is rote learning, or learning by rote, although I don't have a problem with "rote memorisation".

It is unusual to say that something "is rote" in the given context. You can either say "Reading again and again is the definition of learning by rote." or "Reading again and again is the definition of rote learning.". Something that can more commonly be rote is learning (or some synonym for learning), but even then the idiomatic use would generally be by rote.

EDIT: Thanks to ColleenV for pointing this out: There is another definition of rote. You can say something "is rote" if you are describing something that should be creative/inspired, but it is instead mechanical, robotic, uninspired and/or formulaic - as if learned/made "by rote".


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