Definition of routine in English:



  • 1A sequence of actions regularly followed.

    ‘I settled down into a routine of work and sleep’
    mass noun ‘as a matter of routine a report will be sent to the director’
    • ‘With insurers paying for even routine care, consumers lack incentives to shop for low-cost, high-value care.’
    • ‘Everything had shaken into place and everyone on the tour, bands and crew alike, had fixed routines to follow, which saved them from having to think too hard.’
    • ‘And he also didn't follow his usual bedtime routine after his prayers.’
    • ‘Although many said the regular routine of their lives was perfectly amiable, all agreed that just occasionally there needed to be great rejoicing of some kind.’
    • ‘They followed the same routine with other aspects of the project.’
    • ‘Almost as routine as brushing one's teeth, checking e-mail has worked its way into the daily routine of millions.’
    • ‘In the evening after work Rebecca went about her normal routine of making supper for the children and then getting them ready for bed after television.’
    • ‘I followed the usual morning routine in a hazy daze; I showered, brushed my teeth, got dressed, etc.’
    • ‘Anne went back to her regular routine and worked until it grew dark outside.’
    • ‘Organizations develop routines around the use of existing technologies, giving rise to a self-reinforcing cycle of stability.’
    • ‘So the weeks passed, and my regular routines kept going, Rob just became a part of them.’
    • ‘Inside and outside the house the same routine was followed as in the previous year.’
    • ‘Each day, they followed a strict routine of work, ritual baths, and prayer.’
    • ‘The manager must be a hands-on line manager who has gone through the firm's work routines and processes, and knows first-hand the product, market, business environment, and industry.’
    • ‘Parasoft's own developers follow a strict routine and are required to turn in their code for testing every night by 7.’
    • ‘Because they focus on adherence to routines, process management activities have the potential to affect an organization's technological innovations.’
    • ‘You got your work done then, so that when the weekends came around, there would be no routines to follow or work to be done.’
    • ‘But you had only to count the days to know that we were not there yet, that our regular routine would continue for another ten days or so.’
    • ‘He developed a nightly routine of studying a few chapters by the light of the campfire.’
    • ‘I grabbed my stuff, then we headed to his locker, a routine we followed everyday.’
    • ‘There's a routine that we follow in the prison, day in day out, getting up for the bell and going to bed again when it sounds for the last time.’
    procedure, practice, pattern, drill, regime, regimen, groove
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    1. 1.1 A set sequence in a performance such as a dance or comedy act.
      ‘he was trying to persuade her to have a tap routine in the play’
      • ‘It's essentially a series of vaudeville comedy routines.’
      • ‘His show Toujours L' Amour still sells out at the National Theatre in Bucharest after five years - Raluca had been to see it six times - and he is constantly developing new routines for new shows.’
      • ‘The emphasis of dance team is on learning and performing choreographed routines rather than on the underlying technique.’
      • ‘He approaches Liliya and the two begin to dance their old routine.’
      • ‘The group works a played-out routine, but it does so in highly entertaining fashion.’
      • ‘For Dinah, the never-ending tap dance routines and smile-this-is-comedy faces are becoming old hat.’
      • ‘Yet it's fun to hear the boogie-woogie and swing music of the period, which inspires Astaire to some great double-time tap routines.’
      • ‘You don't expect someone like that to be involved in dance routines, onstage, but he does it and pulls it off, and he's just brilliant.’
      • ‘She wound up her dance routine with a wobbly pirouette and took a little bow.’
      • ‘There is one unusual twist in the presentation though: Laurie performs with a DJ, who backs up her routines with minimalist dance music.’
      • ‘They're the Rockettes, world famous for their eye-high kicks and precise dance routines.’
      • ‘Instead, it's best to ease back into your dance routine, increasing physical demands by five percent per week.’
      • ‘They bowed slightly, the way they did at competitions, after their routines.’
      • ‘The wonderful jazzy numbers set the scene for some truly amazing tap routines.’
      • ‘Excerpts from their respective solo routines are incorporated, perhaps to keep the fans sweet.’
      • ‘Many of the performances show amazing dance routines, and songs that fit well into the context of the film.’
      • ‘Middleton climaxed her routine by performing full splits.’
      • ‘Kreviazuk's live shows are part concert, part comedy routine, part emotional rendering.’
      • ‘She executed a rhythm tap dancing routine in the 1928 musical Cross My Heart which stopped the show cold every night.’
      • ‘Jackie believes that fight scenes are very similar to dance routines, because they stress the line of the human body.’
      act, performance, number, turn, piece, line
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    2. 1.2Computing A sequence of instructions for performing a task that forms a program or a distinct part of one.
      • ‘A simple program calls the crypt routine, runs the hash on a word and then compares it to the password entry in the file.’
      • ‘MPI provides many communication routines to aid the programmer in developing inter-process communication.’
      • ‘I created these menus and routines for both programs so that users need only be familiar with that menu to be productive in either one with minimal training.’
      • ‘Any modifications to the database required external support and complete reprogramming of routines to ensure data integrity across the three tables.’
      • ‘I was famed for my ability to press all the right buttons in the install routine by simply following the instructions and not freezing up like a rabbit in the headlights.’


  • Performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason.

    ‘the Ministry insisted that this was just a routine annual drill’
    • ‘The cost of treatment in respect of infertility is allowable but not routine maternity care resulting from a pregnancy.’
    • ‘Mothers or other adult caretakers feed children, dress them, and perform routine physical care well into the young childhood years.’
    • ‘The best advice is to send your machine in for routine service rather than tolerate intermittent problems.’
    • ‘The management said it was a routine warning.’
    • ‘In the absence of suitable partners, they perform routine tasks for one another as a kind of intimate courtesy.’
    • ‘The device was scuttling over the crates in the cargo bay, making a few routine diagnostic checks, when its sensors picked up some anomalous readings.’
    • ‘The Stock Exchange is carrying out a routine examination into unusual share price movements ahead of a company announcement.’
    • ‘Many people resent this follow-up, which is simply a routine business procedure for the agent.’
    • ‘Paulsen suggests rotating backup tapes to ensure minimal wear and tear, and to perform routine tests, such as reformatting and retensioning.’
    • ‘In one case, workers reported that they'd performed some routine maintenance on the spinning machine that made the housing for fans.’
    • ‘It has not only allowed for wage savings but also facilitated a greater amount of control, as well as helping perform routine activities such as backing up files.’
    • ‘A squadron of the Guard in the barracks courtyard was doing routine drills.’
    • ‘If you wouldn't mind stepping out of the car, we'll just perform a routine search and be on our way.’
    • ‘Even the routine stuff, connecting new pipelines, is unimaginably difficult.’
    • ‘What should be a routine story in most national papers suddenly assumes gigantic proportions when the editor of a leading paper uses it to thrash the present government.’
    • ‘Savings multiply as you realise how many routine business processes can be moved out of the enterprise onto the end user through self-service functions.’
    • ‘He insists this was an innocent, routine reminder of company procedures.’
    • ‘One of the many endearing peculiarities of academic life at Harvard is that even routine departmental meetings sometimes turn out to be catered.’
    • ‘The police should not have routine access to campus that could be used to monitor or interfere with political activity.’
    • ‘Vets had spotted suspect lesions on the sheep while carrying out routine checks.’
    standard, regular, customary, accustomed, normal, usual, ordinary, established, natural, unexceptional, typical
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[with object]rare
  • Organize according to a routine.

    ‘all had been routined with smoothness’


Late 17th century (denoting a regular course or procedure): from French, from route ‘road’ (see route).