How to pronounce router in English? I've heard it pronounced two different ways, ruter and router. Which is correct?

  • Perhaps rowter is used so often because rooter also has a sexual connotation and may be awkward for some to say or hear – Stephen Dec 28 '15 at 5:24

Router has two different meaning, and it can have two different pronunciations, depending on the English dialect.

  • A device which sends data to the appropriate parts of a computer network


    • British English: /ˈruːtə(r)/
    • North American English: /ˈruːtər/ or /ˈraʊtər/
  • An electric tool which cuts shallow lines in surfaces


    • British English: /ˈraʊtə(r)/
    • North American English: /ˈraʊtər/

This is the pronunciation reported from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary; the New Oxford American Dictionary reports /ˈraʊdər/ as pronunciation in both the cases.

  • In Australia, people are more likely to use /aʊ/ to disambiguate route from root - but that's because root has an entirely different meaning. – mcalex Mar 28 '13 at 0:43
  • 1
    As you say, Brits are pretty consistent in distinguishing route (pathway, pronounced root), from rout (cut a groove, or cause to retreat in disorder, pronounced rowt). But in my experience, most Americans call the network device a rowter, even though they still say Root 66. My guess is it's because they think the network and the carpentry routers are both "tools", so they both get the same pronunciation, even though it makes no etymological sense. – FumbleFingers Mar 28 '13 at 2:34
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    I come from one region and live in another in the US, and in both places, it is not unlikely to hear someone say something along the lines of: "the postman has a route (rOWt) on Route (rOOt) 1" – horatio Mar 28 '13 at 14:00
  • @snailplane But root is /rʊt/ for many of us, just as in foot and put, so there is no issue. Still, route is certainly /raʊt/, and so router follows directly. – tchrist Mar 28 '13 at 22:20

I would say its like rowtur, where row rhymes with bow in bowwow. (US English)
But route can be pronounced like rowt or rute.
I've only heard rowtur for a computer network router, or for a router used for woodworking.

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