mechanical or habitual repetition of something to be learned Meaning, pronunciation, example sentences, and more from Oxford Dictionaries. A memorizing process using routine or repetition, often without full attention or comprehension: learn by rote. 2. Mechanical routine. 1: the use of memory usually with little intelligence learn by rote. 2: mechanical or unthinking routine or repetition a joyless sense of order, rote, and commercial.