Meaning of roll in English:


Pronunciation /rəʊl/

See synonyms for roll

Translate roll into Spanish


  • 1Move in a particular direction by turning over and over on an axis.

    no object, with adverbial of direction ‘the car rolled down into a ditch’
    • ‘she rolled the ball across the floor’
    • ‘A ball rolls slowly into the frame, its impetus unseen.’
    • ‘But the car is already wrecked against a tree, and a beach ball rolls away from it.’
    • ‘One shocking scene shows street children assaulting a wino and gleefully rolling him down the stairs, punishment for his spiritual and physical corruption.’
    • ‘Michael and his friends take out their rage on the teacher by duct-taping him to his chair and repeatedly rolling him across the floor.’
    • ‘After a few moments, Meagan saw the ball slowly rolling away near the swings.’
    • ‘Why the law of momentum conservation is not violated when a ball rolls down a hill and gains momentum?’
    • ‘Aiming carefully, she took the shot and the ball rolled to a stop about a foot from the hole.’
    • ‘She laughingly recalled a day when Pearl, then in her thirties, had inexplicably rolled a large rock into the living room of the house where she and other children were playing.’
    • ‘This can result in a loss of operational control, with the wheel possibly rolling away from the unit and injuring bystanders.’
    • ‘In the opening sequence, a huge boulder rolls down the hillside, barely missing him and landing in the swimming pool.’
    • ‘He was filmed throwing about five stones and rolling a beer barrel down the hill towards the police line.’
    • ‘The gods had condemned him to ceaselessly roll a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight.’
    • ‘This all just happens, like a boulder rolling downhill, but without any sense of danger.’
    • ‘Facing each other, the female rolls the egg from a furry fold in her abdomen to the male who balances it on his toes and slips his coat over it to keep it warm.’
    • ‘Their efforts were rewarded just two minutes from time when the ball was rolled back to Bullock some 25 yards from goal.’
    • ‘The United midfielder rolled the ball back for Andy Cole who crashed a shot into the net.’
    • ‘Spectacularly, sweets rolled in all directions, across the floor and underneath the chairs.’
    turn round and round, go round and round, turn over and over, spin, rotate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Turn over to face a different direction.
      no object, with adverbial ‘she rolled on to her side’
      • ‘they rolled him over on to his back’
      • ‘She shrugged, and then rolled off to her side, yawning and falling asleep.’
      • ‘I sighed and rolled onto my stomach, lying face down on the cot.’
      • ‘I rolled onto my stomach and lay there for a while.’
      • ‘Sadie groaned and rolled onto her side.’
      • ‘I heard the door open, and I rolled onto my side and looked.’
      • ‘Some time later he felt a hand shaking him, then rolling him onto his back.’
      • ‘I rolled him onto his side.’
      • ‘He needed an oxygen machine to help him breathe and a team of nurses to roll him over in bed.’
      • ‘Sean took a look at him and said, "Yup, he's burnt real bad, roll him over".’
      • ‘Rolling onto her stomach, Elizabeth closed her eyes in an effort to lull her body to sleep.’
      • ‘I stretched my legs and rolled onto my stomach.’
      • ‘She stretched her arms over her head, rolling onto her back.’
      • ‘Rolling onto her back, Emma put the phone to her ear.’
      • ‘He rolled onto his belly and pressed his face in the wet grass and giggled.’
      • ‘I had to roll partially onto my side to work the keys out of my suit jacket pocket.’
      • ‘She slipped between sheets squeaky with cold, pinched at my hand, a perfunctory touch, and rolled away onto her side.’
      • ‘I gently slid my hands under her shoulder and slowly rolled her onto her back.’
      • ‘Quickly I rolled her over to keep her from choking.’
      • ‘Roll the casualty onto one side, keeping the legs straight.’
      • ‘I rolled off to the left, he to the right, so we ended up on our sides, facing each other.’
    2. 1.2with object Turn (one's eyes) upwards, typically to show surprise or disapproval.
      ‘Sarah rolled her eyes to the ceiling’
      • ‘Nothing says humiliation like having a group of kids roll their eyes and point at you, disappointed that your lanky body will be gracing their team.’
      • ‘My favourite moment in the film is when Marto says he could give up the drugs easily and his girlfriend rolls her eyes.’
      • ‘The actor just rolls his eyes and makes the occasional face.’
      • ‘The two live their lives, basically coexisting, with dad usually slinging barbs at his son, telling him to work harder and study more, and with son usually rolling his eyes, sighing audibly, and driving his Jeep.’
      • ‘But you may find yourself rolling your eyes at some of the old-fashioned attitudes and experiences that the characters must face.’
      • ‘I spent a good amount of time rolling my eyes, which frightened me because I worried my contacts would get stuck behind my eyeballs.’
      • ‘That moment also happens to be the precise moment I stopped even trying not to laugh, chuckling to myself and rolling my eyes.’
      • ‘At other times I rolled my eyes, although not that much.’
      • ‘Many of my comrades rolled their eyes when I complained about the film's glaring lack of substance.’
      • ‘They roll their eyes and shake their heads in disbelief.’
      • ‘High art pretensions caused her to roll her eyes.’
      • ‘Instead of continuing the ‘cute’ idea and reinforcing the scene, the music made me roll my eyes instead.’
      • ‘It will make you roll your eyes, but that is part of the enjoyment.’
      • ‘By the end the preposterous level of interaction between these characters left me rolling my eyes.’
      • ‘If you could find a woman who would watch it with you, from beginning to end, without rolling her eyes, then she was a keeper.’
      • ‘This is ludicrous, and you may feel the urge to simultaneously roll your eyes, laugh out loud, and change the channel.’
      • ‘What I wanted to know most was, when women watch this film, are they going to be rolling their eyes?’
      • ‘The director also sounds like he's rolling his eyes when he instructs the actor repeatedly to talk directly into the mic.’
      • ‘In the case of The Sound of Music, there were only four or five times in the film I rolled my eyes at what I consider inane instances of singing.’
      • ‘It was enough to leave me rolling my eyes every time it resurfaced.’
    3. 1.3no object, with adverbial Lie down and turn over and over while remaining in the same place.
      ‘the buffalo rolled in the dust’
      • ‘I must have spent 10 or 15 minutes rolling on the floor in agony.’
      • ‘They wound up rolling around on the floor.’
      • ‘I had stopped some of my childhood fun such as running with the village boys and catching fish and rolling in the dirt and had started acting more like a young woman.’
      • ‘The dog rolled on the ground.’
      • ‘Nina got down and rolled in the grass to muss her hair and rumple her clothes.’
      • ‘He grinds his teeth, barks like a dog and rolls around on the carpet.’
      • ‘The finale was energetic with all the dancers rolling on the ground.’
    4. 1.4no object (of a moving ship, aircraft, or vehicle) rock or oscillate round an axis parallel to the direction of motion.
      ‘the ship pitched and rolled’
      • ‘The boat rolled and nodded gently.’
      • ‘Our boarding party had to get aboard a ship rolling and heaving in large seas.’
      • ‘The aircraft rolled off to the left prior to slicing nose low to 90 degrees down.’
      lurch, toss, rock, pitch, plunge, sway, reel, list, keel, wallow, labour, make heavy weather
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5no object, with adverbial Move along or from side to side unsteadily or uncontrollably.
      ‘they were rolling about with laughter’
      • ‘All you could hear were people rolling around with laughter.’
      • ‘Within a matter of minutes Scott and I are pretty much rolling around the place.’
      • ‘The moment I tried it I was rolling all over the place.’
      stagger, lurch, reel, sway, pitch, totter, teeter, wobble
      View synonyms
    6. 1.6North American informal with object Overturn (a vehicle)
      • ‘he rolled his Mercedes in a 100 mph crash’
      • ‘He hit the kerb and rolled his car.’
      • ‘He began drinking heavily, and after one sodden evening at a local bar he rolled his car on the highway.’
      • ‘It was really scary rolling the car like that.’
      • ‘She fell asleep at the wheel, rolled her sports car, and ended up in a ditch.’
      • ‘He began drinking heavily, and after one sodden evening at a local bar he rolled his car on the highway.’
      • ‘One of our guys rolled his oversize truck on a residential street in front of a visiting dignitary.’
    7. 1.7with object Throw (a die or dice)
      ‘he put all his chips on the table and rolled the dice’
      • ‘As they roll the dice, a window in the middle of the game delivers decidedly sinister messages.’
      • ‘Before Leah could roll the dice an ominous knock was heard at the door.’
      • ‘As he put it, he had rolled his dice and he had lost.’
      • ‘He rolls the dice and it hits a 1.’
      • ‘I rolled the dice, hoping for a high number.’
    8. 1.8with object Obtain (a particular score) by throwing a die or dice.
      ‘roll a 2, 3, or 12’
      • ‘If a player rolled a twelve, he collected all the coins on the board.’
      • ‘The odds of rolling a six with one die are 1 in six.’
      • ‘From now on, if anyone rolls a double-one or a double-six, all moves are reversed for the next turn, okay?’
  • 2no object, with adverbial of direction (of a vehicle) move or run on wheels.

    ‘the van was rolling along the lane’
    • ‘There follows a four and a half minute high-angle shot of a carriage wheel rolling along a dirt road, while a male voice-over narration reads a letter the novelist had written to his daughter.’
    • ‘But as they tear down the dirt roads in the dead of night, a truck rolls out of nowhere, they lose control, and their car ends up in a ditch.’
    • ‘A pickup truck rolls down a dark highway.’
    • ‘As the tanks roll into town Charlotte is forced to decide whose safety matters most.’
    • ‘Residents said tanks rolled down their street firing into their homes.’
    • ‘Cross the border into the East, and you could meet tanks rolling down the street.’
    travel, go, move, pass, cruise, be carried, be conveyed, sweep
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    1. 2.1with object and adverbial of direction Move or push (a wheeled object)
      ‘Pat rolled the trolley to and fro’
      • ‘The trashcan is wheeled, so the whole can be lifted and rolled, though it would require some effort.’
      • ‘As I rolled the shopping cart toward the front door to exit the store, a bell went off.’
      • ‘For a while, he joined the kid on the floor, rolling the toy truck across the room and watching the small boy run after it jubilantly.’
      • ‘He rolled the bike out of the back of his truck.’
      • ‘Isabelle was nervously rolling her skates back and forth.’
      • ‘Today you can still step right off the train and roll your suitcase up the flower-lined path to the hotel.’
      wheel, push, trundle
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    2. 2.2(of a drop of liquid) flow.
      ‘huge tears rolled down her cheeks’
      • ‘A single tear rolls down her cheek, and she folds in on herself.’
      • ‘As the movie started, tears began to roll down my cheeks.’
      • ‘Was it exploitation by going in and watching tears roll down their faces?’
      • ‘His eyes glisten as tears roll gently down his cheek.’
      • ‘She sniffled and hugged him tightly, tears rolling slowly down her cheeks.’
      • ‘She was shaking now, tears slowly rolling down her flushed cheeks.’
      • ‘I had awakened from a nightmare with beads of sweat rolling down my face.’
      • ‘She glanced over at the fat lord, beads of sweat rolling down his face.’
      • ‘A bead of sweat rolled down her face, and she swallowed hard.’
      • ‘When a droplet grows larger than a bump and touches the slippery surroundings, it rolls off, down to the beetle's mouth.’
      • ‘The Princess stopped crying and looked prettily up at the shopkeeper, letting just one tear roll down her cheek.’
      • ‘She dabbed it to her eyes and let a single tear roll down her cheek.’
      flow, run, course, stream, pour, spill, trickle
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    3. 2.3(of time) elapse steadily.
      ‘the years rolled by’
      • ‘As more time rolled on, he too became tired.’
      • ‘As the years rolled by, we began to see light at the end of the tunnel.’
      • ‘They discussed various life events, and learned bits about each other as the days rolled on.’
      • ‘She's getting more and more fussy as the months roll by.’
      • ‘Marriott had a very dark side, and that got worse as the years rolled on.’
      pass, go by, go past, slip by, slip past, slide by, slide past, sail by, sail past, glide by, glide past, fly by, fly past, elapse, wear on, steal by, steal past, march on
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4(of waves, smoke, cloud, or fog) move or flow forward with an undulating motion.
      ‘the fog rolled across the fields’
      • ‘Sometimes the shift between panels is as subtle as fog rolling through, so that one looks closely to identify the change.’
      • ‘It's like being on a wave rolling into shore; you can't fight it.’
      • ‘A late-afternoon haze rolls over the hills.’
      • ‘We walked on an almost totally deserted beach, with heavy breakers rolling onto the shore.’
      • ‘The music captures the damp chill of the Scottish air and the fog rolling off the moors.’
      • ‘When a storm suddenly rolls in and crashes their boat into a reef, Paul and Barbara man an inflatable life raft and head for the costal town of Imboca for help.’
      • ‘The movie begins as four lifelong friends doing some male-bonding out in the woods when a snowstorm rolls in.’
      • ‘The day is sunny but a fog rolls in and puts a chill into their bones.’
      • ‘Despite his efforts, Simon dies as a tropical storm rolls in, and his body is washed out to sea.’
      • ‘After the child goes missing, time-lapse photography depicts the clouds rapidly rolling in and nestling on the horizon above the rocky outcrops.’
      • ‘The residents of a small seaside town are celebrating the anniversary of their town's birth when a pea souper comes rolling in with some ‘scary’ folk out for revenge on the wrongs that were done to them many moons ago.’
      • ‘The only cinematic cue to promote tension is the following shot of a darkening sky as storm clouds roll in.’
      undulating, surging, heaving, tossing, rippling, rising and falling, swelling
      billow, undulate, rise and fall, toss, tumble
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    5. 2.5no object (of land) extend in gentle undulations.
    6. 2.6no object (of credits for a film or television programme) be displayed as if moving on a roller up the screen.
      ‘the end credits rolled and the title came up’
      • ‘Sure, there are plot holes, but most of them don't become apparent until long after the end credits have rolled and the film is being analyzed in a post-screening discussion.’
      • ‘It's the kind of film that sticks with you after the credits roll…’
      • ‘At the end, while the credits roll, we are shown the reactions of the actors on seeing the film for the first time.’
      • ‘Romantic comedies are rarely anything more than the sort of vacuous entertainment one tosses into the DVD player in order to kill 100 or so minutes, then promptly forgets as soon as the end credits are rolling.’
      • ‘When the credits started rolling I actually felt baffled for a moment, wondering if somehow I'd accidentally hit the fast forward button at some point during the film.’
      • ‘There are few films that came out during the past year that left me with as good a feeling when the credits stopped rolling.’
      • ‘Sadly, many folks who pick up this DVD will miss this extra if they stop the disc once the credits start rolling.’
      • ‘Once the end credits started rolling, I pondered for a moment what I liked about the movie.’
      • ‘Afterwards, even a moment's consideration will reveal an avalanche of plot holes, but it is a tribute to the film-makers that these are not recognized until after the end credits have rolled.’
      • ‘An hour after the end credits have rolled, he's the one - perhaps the only one - we remember.’
      • ‘Judging from the comments I heard after the credits rolled, I wasn't the only one who felt this way.’
      • ‘It's a beautiful film, though, with moments that stayed with me long after the credits rolled.’
      • ‘The audience stayed in their chairs silently until the last credit rolled.’
      • ‘As the credits roll, you wonder why you bothered wasting 100 minutes of your life on this flat, soulless piece of throwaway trash.’
      • ‘Overall, this is a clumsy, uneven affair which, by the time the final credits roll, grates.’
      • ‘As the end credits roll, he goes off on this tangent that at first I thought was serious, but quickly realized was an incredibly funny joke.’
      • ‘And even after the movie closes and the credits roll, there are many, many questions still left.’
      • ‘By the time the credits roll, the big question patrons may be asking themselves is, what sort of movie was this supposed to be?’
      • ‘As the opening credits roll, the movie opens to a dark rainy Manhattan night.’
      • ‘After the closing credits have rolled, look back on the words and actions of some of the protagonists, and you'll see that they make no sense.’
      • ‘When the cameras stopped rolling, an astonishing four hundred kilometers of film had been recorded, totaling over 240 hours of footage.’
    7. 2.7(with reference to a machine, device, or system) operate or begin operating.
      no object ‘the cameras started to roll’
      • ‘roll the camera’
      • ‘The first plate is prepared, ink is spread on the rollers, paper is laid on the press bed and the machine rolls into action.’
      • ‘The planter was rolling at 6 a.m. every day and didn't stop until 11 p.m.’
      • ‘He just placed seven cameras with infrared tape and microphones in different areas of his studio and let them roll.’
      • ‘As the cameras roll, an attractive young woman sits at the newsdesk reading the autocue.’
      • ‘He’ll shoot the flick between other projects, and plans to get the cameras rolling soon.’
      • ‘She forgot how to act when the cameras began rolling.’
      • ‘As one might expect, this collection spotlights the massive amount of work that took place before the cameras even began rolling.’
      • ‘Working from a very loose story outline, the actors create their characters when the camera begins to roll.’
      • ‘After that there was an understanding that the cameras could be rolling at any time and any footage taken could potentially find its way into the film.’
      • ‘Were there any other issues that needed to be resolved before the cameras could roll?’
      • ‘It was as though everybody had a huge argument right before the camera started rolling and could hardly wait to get back to their respective trailers.’
      • ‘However, because the fight was brief, they kept the camera rolling.’
      • ‘I really want to just obey my own impulses when the camera's rolling.’
      • ‘We see him stomping through sets, leaping through obstacles, and grabbing extras, making sure they are in the proper place when the cameras roll.’
      • ‘Then, just as the cameras were about to roll, I heard the devastating news: Doris had died in August.’
    8. 2.8 informal no object Start moving; take action.
      • ‘the coast's clear—let's roll’
      • ‘If you two don't mind, it's time to roll!’
      • ‘The moment Ed Lake heard the words, he thought: All right. Let's roll!’
      • ‘"Come on guys, let's roll."’
      • ‘Seconds later a man with a thin, frowning face said, 'Let's roll.'’
      • ‘You've never seen children so anxious to get rolling.’
      • ‘I really want to get rolling on my new movie.’
      • ‘You've never seen children so anxious to get rolling.’
      • ‘I really want to get rolling on it.’
      • ‘Blogging, as you will find out once you get rolling, requires thick skin and a level head.’
      • ‘Once you have plugged in your equipment, connected the unit to the power source, you're ready to roll!’
    9. 2.9 informal no object Behave in a particular way.
      • ‘that's just how I roll, guys—I'll smile until I physically can't’
      • ‘That comment is inappropriate: I don't know what website you think you are on, but that is not how we roll.’
      • ‘Dads aren't worried if you forget them, that is the way we roll in the Dad world.’
      • ‘I told her I don't make financial decisions without consulting my husband: that's not how we roll.’
      • ‘One thing I won't apologize for is how geeky this episode is because that's how we roll here.’
      • ‘I decide when I drink, ok? I don't care if it's a Saturday. That's how I roll.’
      • ‘"That's how I roll," he told us, popping the cap off a bottle and taking a long draw.’
      • ‘For my first post I wanted to tell you guys that when it comes to SEO, this is how I roll.’
      • ‘I want an ICED latte, even in this cold weather. It's just how I roll.’
      • ‘We were at a professional sound studio - because that's just how we roll, you know.’
      • ‘We hope you've gotten a glimpse of what we're about and how we roll.’
      • ‘I'm going to write a blog post about it that'll live online forever, but that's just the way I roll.’
  • 3with object and adverbial Turn (something flexible) over and over on itself to form a cylinder, tube, or ball.

    ‘he rolled the handkerchief into a ball’
    • ‘If a print is too large and has to be rolled and sent in a tube, it should be taken out immediately after it arrived at its destination.’
    • ‘Paintings can be rolled and carried in a pocket.’
    • ‘He looks back at his usual table and sees Gilbert finish his coffee, roll up his paper, and exit.’
    • ‘I just nodded at him before beginning to roll up the blankets and tie them together.’
    • ‘She rolled the shirt into a ball and threw it into a garbage bag.’
    • ‘I had tried folding them, rolling them up, laying them flat, squishing them together until they were all wrinkled, but it just seemed impossible to fit that amount of clothes in such a small space.’
    • ‘You take the circular tortilla and then put a goodly dollop of salsa, or cream or whatever you like in the middle, some strips of chicken with onion and bell pepper, roll it up, fold over the ends and start enjoying.’
    • ‘The decision having been taken to clean and conserve the painting, it was removed from its frame and stretcher, rolled up, and transported to the conservation studios.’
    • ‘Some are roughly wrapped around wooden frames and screwed and bolted into place; others are cut into strips, which are then rolled up and fastened with plastic ties.’
    • ‘With the hand scroll, a long horizontal painting, a combination of text and image is mounted onto a scroll and rolled up for storage.’
    • ‘These flexible batteries can be rolled up, fit into corners, or embedded in thin plastic cards.’
    • ‘Colorful dish towels were rolled up and placed in a festive basket.’
    • ‘The sleeping mats had been rolled up and set against the wall and the folded blankets were stacked neatly upon a chair.’
    • ‘About 100 of these maps had been rolled up and were just sitting on top of a cabinet.’
    • ‘The oldest resident couple occupies the bed, with children and younger adults sleeping on reed mats on the floor; the mats are rolled up when not in use.’
    • ‘He kept a bow for hunting purposes, and a blanket was rolled up behind him.’
    • ‘Shortly the tent was rolled up and strapped to the bottom of Gamal's pack.’
    • ‘The more tightly the tube is rolled up, the harder it becomes to see that it has a circular cross section, since this circular dimension gets smaller and smaller.’
    • ‘By the time they got there, though, the chairs were stacked, the rug had been rolled up, and the people were gone.’
    • ‘He got up and started rolling his sleeping bag up.’
    • ‘Don looked up from the podium, rolling the drawing up.’
    • ‘‘It shouldn't be for a while,’ he replied, rolling the map back up and replacing it.’
    wind, coil, furl, fold, curl
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1with object Make (something) by forming material into a cylinder or ball.
      with two objects ‘Harry rolled himself a joint’
      • ‘He sits hunched on his stool, rolling himself a cigarette.’
      • ‘She took out a packet of tobacco, rolled herself a cigarette and lit it from the candle that was burning on the table.’
      • ‘He rolled a spliff, left his house and began to walk towards Woolstone Road.’
      • ‘Quickly and deftly he rolled a joint and lit it.’
      • ‘She rushes off with the first long-haired motorcyclist who looks like he knows how to roll a joint.’
      wind, coil, furl, fold, curl
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    2. 3.2no object, with adverbial (of a person or animal) curl up tightly.
      ‘the shock made the hedgehog roll into a ball’
      • ‘She rolled into a ball on the floor.’
      • ‘If you give an armadillo a fright, he'll stop, and drop, and roll up tight.’
      • ‘Pull your knees into your chest, hugging them, and roll into a ball.’
      wind, coil, furl, fold, curl
      View synonyms
  • 4with object and adverbial Flatten (something) by passing a roller over it or by passing it between rollers.

    ‘roll out the dough on a floured surface’
    • ‘They learned how to roll cheese from a team of brawny factory workers who made fun of the tiny women even as they insisted on perfection.’
    • ‘By rolling down the cover crop in spring instead of mowing it, the cover crop takes longer to decompose and becomes a weed-suppressing mulch.’
    • ‘On a lightly floured surface roll the pastry into a rectangle.’
    • ‘The pitch had been rolled flat.’
    • ‘A very thin clay slab is made by rolling it between sheets of plastic wrap.’
    flatten, level, smooth
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  • 5no object, with adverbial of direction (of a loud, deep sound) reverberate.

    ‘the first peals of thunder rolled across the sky’
    • ‘But the lightening has flashed and the thunder rolled…’
    • ‘Captivated by the breathtaking scenery, his sensitive response to nature encapsulated his impression of the roar of the waves rolling into the cavern and the cries of the seabirds.’
    • ‘Lightning forked the sky outside and the thunder rolled down the hills in a tumble.’
    • ‘One night I heard the sound of thunder rolling in my direction.’
    • ‘The sound of a dull explosion rolled across the city.’
    • ‘The sound rolls in like a terrible thunder: a booming and coruscating blast of noise that rumbles darkly and sparks with light.’
    • ‘As thunder rolled in the distance, Jumabaev contacted the spirits and then began an extraordinary performance, entering a trance-like state as he sang for 40 minutes.’
    rumble, reverberate, echo, re-echo, resound, boom, peal, roar, grumble
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    1. 5.1with object Pronounce (a consonant, typically an r) with a trill.
      ‘when he wanted to emphasize a point he rolled his rrrs’
      • ‘When he spoke, his peculiar way of rolling his r's made him difficult to understand.’
      • ‘Her fake accent irritated me a bit -- particularly the way she rolled the letter R.’
      • ‘Croatian speakers are used to rolling the ‘r’ sound in all of the words in their Native language.’
      • ‘Still, the group has spirit, and it is funny to hear some of the choristers dramatically rolling their r's while others sing the Latin text with an obvious American accent.’
    2. 5.2with object Utter (a word or words) with a reverberating or vibratory effect.
      ‘he rolled the word round his mouth’
      • ‘He rolls his lines around in his mouth as if relishing their taste, and you can almost smell the bourbon and cigars on his breath when he talks.’
      • ‘He rolls each syllable of ‘Lo-li-ta’ across the tip of his tongue.’
      • ‘‘She is goooorrrrrgeous, isn't she?’ he asks, rolling the words around in his mouth.’
      • ‘He rolls the word over in his mouth.’
      • ‘‘No,’ she said very slowly, rolling the denial on her tongue thickly.’
    3. 5.3(of words) flow effortlessly or mellifluously.
      ‘the names of his colleagues rolled off his lips’
      • ‘If he could, he would have let the words roll off his tongue.’
      • ‘They stuck together for years, and the names still roll off the tongue.’
      • ‘The writing was excellent, with Verity's sarcastic one-liners to customers simply rolling off the tongue.’
      • ‘The soft melodic lyrics roll off his tongue effortlessly.’
      • ‘The industry jargon that rolls off his tongue is that of a consummate marketer.’
      • ‘It rolls off the tongue and seems slightly mysterious and powerful.’
      • ‘The company launched a huge branding campaign to get its name rolling off everyone's tongue.’
      • ‘That seems to be the question rolling off every tongue these days.’
      • ‘The word " Liverpool " rolls off his tongue as if it were Eden.’
      • ‘Portugal, Florida, Canada, and London roll off her tongue with ease.’
  • 6 informal Rob (someone, typically when they are intoxicated or asleep)

    • ‘if you don't get drunk, you don't get rolled’
    • ‘There are 32 hours I blacked out, but I think I mostly watched television and maybe rolled a liquor store.’
    • ‘He was rolled by a group of hooligans.’
    • ‘She rolled a bank in Albuquerque.’
    steal from
    View synonyms


  • 1A cylinder formed by winding flexible material round a tube or by turning it over and over on itself without folding.

    ‘ a roll of carpet’
    • ‘He buys paper in a roll and cuts it himself into 32-by 40-inch sheets.’
    • ‘He said that he pictured him pulling the paper from a roll and cutting and tearing it where it suits him.’
    • ‘Here are some new photos from the one roll of film which I just got back today.’
    • ‘I love to work with rolls of paper to make three-dimensional paper sculptures.’
    • ‘The Doctor was pulling a roll of duct tape out of the bag.’
    • ‘From his satchel York pulled out a roll of duct tape.’
    • ‘Bryce, after pausing quickly to grab the roll of film, ran after him.’
    • ‘Within these sessions, the artists were given a roll of 16-mm film to shoot whatever they wanted.’
    • ‘These body parts stand in relief against shadows gathering under the studio lights, the subject posed against a roll of white backdrop paper.’
    • ‘Simply attach black bin bags to the windows with your trusty roll of gaffer tape thereby preventing light leaking in.’
    • ‘When she visited Venice, she shot 40 rolls of film, took the film home and used her memory, the pictures and sketches of particular scenes to create a painting.’
    • ‘It consists of a display of empty wood frames, piles of crates, rolls of canvas covered with brown pigment and charred-looking objects in wooden and cardboard boxes.’
    • ‘The disadvantage of this kind of pantry storage is that it is not designed for bulkier items like multiple rolls of toilet paper or paper towels.’
    • ‘I recently came across the first roll of film I ever shot.’
    • ‘He gives her the wrong roll of film, and in return, she gives him a fake phone number.’
    • ‘Several big rolls of reed matting, which must be building materials, are propped up against the walls of the central structure.’
    • ‘People come with their rolls of film to this supermarket to have their snapshots developed.’
    • ‘The basic materials are sheets of 20 x 28 inch poster board, glitter, Elmer's glue, foil from candy wrappers and rolls of Christmas paper.’
    • ‘In the past he has replicated rolls of floral-printed toilet paper in silk, modeled Tupperware cups of beeswax and created sponges of balsa wood.’
    • ‘Perforated cards began to replace barrels for fairground organs during the 19th century, and at about that time the player piano, with a punched paper roll, was introduced.’
    • ‘The fabric usually comes on 72-inch- wide rolls.’
    cylinder, tube, scroll
    reel, spool
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A cylindrical mass of something or a number of items arranged in a cylindrical shape.
      ‘ a roll of mints’
      • ‘The left panel depicts a portion of a roll of shiny steel being formed at a factory.’
      • ‘It looked like rolls of thick sausage on their stomachs.’
      • ‘Protruding out the open sides were thick rolls of flesh that undulated like two well-fed seals.’
      • ‘Every wrinkle, blemish and bruise, every traitorous little roll of fat, remains intact.’
      • ‘I wonder if I should tell the others I still have a roll of candy in my pocket?’
      • ‘They featured brightly colored birds and flowering trees hand-painted on rice papers that were glued together to form a roll.’
      cylinder, tube, scroll
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2with modifier An item of food that is made by wrapping a flat sheet of pastry, cake, meat, or fish round a sweet or savoury filling.
      ‘salmon and rice rolls’
      • ‘Casual classics such as fried clams, fish and chips and lobster rolls are transformed into elegant fare.’
      • ‘The processing plant now produces several types of dough and bread products, including its latest addition: a frozen cinnamon roll that can be microwaved.’
      • ‘The little bistro offers excellent breakfasts of fluffy scrambled eggs, warm cinnamon rolls, and frothy lattes.’
      • ‘They come to dine on the popular eatery's cinnamon rolls.’
      • ‘He stares soulfully past the camera, on toward a catering truck where sushi rolls and ham sandwiches dwell side by side in harmony.’
      • ‘Paola got her vegetable spring rolls with plum sauce.’
      • ‘I am never eating another sausage roll as long as I live.’
      • ‘They had bought a sausage roll each and held a bottle of pop in their hands.’
      • ‘Other starters included soup, chicken wings, and mini vegetable spring rolls.’
    3. 1.3North American, Australian A quantity of banknotes rolled together.
      ‘I should eat out, enjoy the fat roll I'd taken out of my account’
      • ‘He pulled a huge roll of fifties and twenties from his pocket.’
      • ‘In his pocket was a roll of notes, his pay-off for the night's work.’
      • ‘He pulls a roll of notes from his back pocket and peels off a tenner.’
      • ‘When she handed me a huge roll of cash I was shocked at the amount.’
      • ‘He reached into his pocket and pulled out a roll of cash.’
      wad, bundle
      View synonyms
  • 2A movement in which someone or something turns or is turned over on itself.

    ‘a roll of the dice’
    • ‘Rain drops, dices rolls, the clack of betting chips, and peasants working in the fields all make their own sort of music.’
    • ‘He continually plays to the courtroom audience with rolls of his eyes, rubbing his head, or agitated fanning of his face.’
    • ‘Suddenly the art houses of America turned on him with a collective eye roll.’
    • ‘An extra minutes play was signalled and in one last effort Laois threw their last roll of the dice.’
    • ‘When the healthy horse stands up after a good roll, he will usually go for a nice run and may buck a few times.’
    throw, toss
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A gymnastic exercise in which a person tucks their head down and rolls their body in a forward or backwards circle on the floor.
      ‘I used my momentum and tucked into a roll’
      • ‘As part of our warm up, we were doing tumbles and on one of them (a reverse handstand into a roll) I stupidly hit my own face with my knee.’
      • ‘She throws herself into a roll and ends up with legs and feet at all angles.’
      • ‘She sees stars wheel overhead, the world tumbling around her, and she turns her tumble into a roll.’
      • ‘Near the end of seventh grade the teacher in gym class had us run, jump over a hurdle, and land on a mat head first while doing a roll.’
      • ‘He does a little bit of gymnastics; he can even do a dive roll!’
      • ‘She started Hazel on some somersaults then dive rolls and had started on backwards walkovers, when she heard Hazel complain.’
      • ‘Although she excelled on multiple events, she is remembered by some most for her beam routines, which included some unusual skills at the time: a side roll and one arm handstand.’
      • ‘When it came to performing, I used to specialise in the solo exercises on the floor, which meant doing handstands, headstands, rolls, jumps, flips - everything.’
    2. 2.2A complete rotation by a flying aircraft about its longitudinal axis.
      ‘The flames engulfed the left wing before the plane went into a roll and crashed.’
      • ‘He was flying alone and performing rolls in a 1940s vintage plane when its wing touched the ground, causing the crash.’
      • ‘If you perform the roll on takeoff well, you'll still see some of Runway 10 ahead of you.’
    3. 2.3mass noun A swaying or oscillation of a ship, aircraft, or vehicle round an axis parallel to the direction of motion.
      ‘the car corners capably with a minimum of roll’
      • ‘The chassis displays impressive levels of composure and minimal roll through the turns.’
      • ‘The system can directly measure the roll of the vehicle frame as it passes over such terrain.’
      • ‘At every roll of the boat the water would rush in.’
      • ‘On the first night only two out of 48 remained at dinner, the rest having succumbed to the pitching roll of the boat.’
      • ‘Three on-board computers must adjust the plane's pitch and roll 40 times a second.’
      rocking, tossing, lurching, pitching, plunging, swaying
      View synonyms
  • 3A prolonged, deep, reverberating sound.

    ‘thunder exploded, roll after roll’
    • ‘A sudden roll of thunder rumbled over the meadow.’
    • ‘A loud roll of thunder filled the air of the streets of the city.’
    • ‘Dark clouds gathered, there was the distant, yet unmistakable roll of thunder.’
    • ‘The booming roll of thunder shattered the tranquility of the forest.’
    • ‘She listened to the crash and roll of the surf below.’
    rumble, reverberation, echo, boom, thunder, thunderclap, clap, crack, roar, grumble
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Music One of the basic patterns (rudiments) of drumming, consisting of a sustained, rapid alternation of single or double strokes of each stick.
      ‘The orchestral instrument uses softer beaters, like giant timpani sticks, often double-ended so that a roll may be played one-handed by twisting the wrist.’
      • ‘Learn how to play a six stroke roll on the drums in this free video music lesson.’
      • ‘Remember, you are not limited to playing a roll on the snare drum!’
      • ‘A roll can't just be thrown in, it's got to be in time with the music.’
  • 4A very small loaf of bread, to be eaten by one person.

    ‘soup with a roll’
    • ‘a bacon roll’
    • ‘The bakery produces organic breads, rolls, and cookies.’
    • ‘We make 150 different types of breads and rolls out of this plant.’
    • ‘The organic burgers and all-beef polish sausages will be served with organic condiments on organic rolls.’
    • ‘She grabbed the bag, then stuffed a bread roll into her mouth.’
    • ‘The baker used to be up early baking gorgeous, hot crusty rolls for breakfast.’
    • ‘The movie ends with the purchase of warm rolls at dawn.’
  • 5An official list or register of names.

    ‘the school had no one by his name on its roll’
    • ‘Their names read like a roll of the literary and artistic talents of that brilliant age.’
    • ‘He wasn't a class officer or an honor roll geek, but he was certainly above average in just about everything he did.’
    • ‘Such responsibility and stewardship seems to characterize these and all the other projects in this year's honor roll.’
    • ‘Of the 322 plants in 1999, 140 were listed on the Brazilian export roll.’
    • ‘The new buildings erected in the 1960s and 1970s were needed to accommodate the swelling numbers on the school roll.’
    • ‘However, the 1503-5 membership rolls are among the few fortunate survivors from a once larger archive.’
    • ‘Eventually, the buildings will be leased or sold, putting untaxed property back on the tax rolls.’
    • ‘Nicholas, 16, is an honor roll high school student.’
    • ‘Mysterious extra voters appeared on the voting rolls in some constituencies.’
    • ‘I worry about incremental reforms that take so many people off the tax rolls in order to make them politically palatable.’
    list, register, listing, directory, record, file, index, catalogue, inventory
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1The total number of names on a roll.
      ‘a review of secondary schools to assess the effects of falling rolls’
      • ‘For dairy, which employed nearly 137,000 people three years ago, employment rolls are expected to fall 9.3 percent in the next seven years.’
      • ‘She said she would support the proposal because of concern about the falling school rolls.’
      • ‘This is not a case of falling school rolls and a declining area.’
      • ‘Schools which parents perceive to be ‘good’ are able to expand their pupil roll, while other schools may face declining rolls.’
      • ‘Township School also began to experience a dramatic fall in the roll, from 1200 in the mid seventies to 500 in the early nineties.’
      number, count, tally, total, running total, sum total, grand total, sum, score, reckoning, enumeration, register, record, inventory, list, listing, account, roll, roster, index, directory
      View synonyms
    2. 5.2A document, typically an official record, historically kept in scroll form.
      ‘The roll appears to have been commissioned by one Sir Thomas Chaworth in the 1320s and passed by descent until sold privately by the Chaworth Musters family in 1988.’
      • ‘They also occur for his father, John Ashby, in a roll dated c.1480-1500.’
      • ‘Illuminated manuscripts are handwritten books or rolls with painted decoration and illustration.’
      • ‘Each inventory consists of a vellum roll listing the contents of the house room by room, in more or less detail, with estimated total values given for each room.’
      records, annals, chronicles, registers, accounts
      View synonyms
  • 6mass noun Undulation of the landscape.

    ‘hidden by the roll of the land was a refinery’
    • ‘The gentle roll of the hills pleases the senses.’
    • ‘The dip and roll of the country conceals low hills topped by historic towns.’
    • ‘The neatly planted rows of corn and sugar beets accentuate the gentle roll of the landscape.’
    • ‘The land is good for growing trees and better for pastures than crop farming because of the land's roll.’
    • ‘This parkland-styled course has tree-lined fairways that follow the gentle roll of the surrounding topography.’
  • 7A roller for flattening something, especially one used to shape metal in a rolling mill.

    ‘The heated bars pass through the rolls seven to eight times.’
    • ‘As the sheets of metal pass through the rolls, they are squeezed thinner and extruded through the gap between the rolls.’
    • ‘Steel sheets are manufactured in a rolling process where the rolls are used to reduce the sheet thickness and to achieve the desired surface characteristics.’
    • ‘The heated billets (short lengths of red hot steel) shoot out of the reheating furnace and are caught by the fettlers, men equipped with large pincers, and fed manually into the mill roll.’


    a roll in the hay
    • An act or instance of having sex.

      • ‘She'd been enjoying regular rolls in the hay with the England manager.’
      • ‘She just had no sexual appetite and her husband was complaining bitterly about the infrequent rolls in the hay.’
      • ‘She didn't intend to give him the impression she was ready for a roll in the sack.’
      • ‘He wouldn't have minded a roll in the hay with her anytime she was ready and willing.’
      • ‘I doused the fire with a bucket of sand I keep nearby at all times and headed across the hall to see if she was still game for a roll in the hay.’
      • ‘He encounters the sheriff's daughter, with whom he enjoys a roll in the hay.’
      • ‘I think most people are having a lot of trouble sleeping and there is nothing like a good roll in the hay to send you off to sleep.’
      • ‘But if Kyle was just out for a roll in the hay, why hadn't he taken that blonde up on her offer?’
      • ‘Dad said he always fancied giving Carrie a roll in the hay, which kind of put me off her a bit.’
      • ‘Kip sadly realizes that a fourth roll in the hay will not be imminent.’
    be rolling in money
    • Be very rich.

      • ‘he was a tycoon and must have been rolling in money’
      • ‘The common perception that farmers are rolling in money, could not be further from the truth.’
      • ‘At the same time, people see where you are, at the top of the League, and people think the club must be rolling in money again.’
      • ‘I don't want people to feel that the Government is rolling in money.’
      • ‘On the day she gets out of jail, Liam, now rolling in money, takes her to a posh apartment in the best part of town and gives her the keys.’
      • ‘But in case you thought the local authority was rolling in money, then think again.’
      • ‘Unlike the greater part of Harcourt Academy, I am not rolling in money, and do not have a money tree growing in my back yard.’
      • ‘He's some successful advertising executive in Los Angeles now, and positively rolling in money.’
      • ‘It's not like Mom was rolling in money.’
      • ‘Jayde's family is not rolling in money, but they're not poor.’
      • ‘I am rolling in money, and my love life is even looking up.’
    on a roll
    • Experiencing a prolonged spell of success or good luck.

      • ‘the organization is on a roll’
      • ‘With his last few albums, he has been on a roll, consistently producing jazz of the very highest standard.’
      • ‘New Zealand film is apparently on a roll according to our media.’
      • ‘All the smaller underground clubs are on a roll and the commercialised side of dance music is starting to wane.’
      • ‘Sinatra had been on a roll since his breakthrough part in From Here To Eternity.’
      • ‘He is keen that he shouldn't be perceived as turning his back on British theatre, which he feels is on a roll.’
      • ‘The multi-prize winning young cellist is on a roll.’
      • ‘The band are certainly on a roll and they're rocking all the way.’
      • ‘It is no secret that the photography market is on a roll.’
      • ‘The film marks something of a coup for Newmarket, who appear to be on a roll, having backed some of the hottest independent films of the year so far.’
      • ‘When big-budget shows can be this fun, you know that rock music is once again on a roll.’
    roll of honour
    • A list of people whose deeds or achievements are honoured, or who have died in battle.

      ‘The professor, with the help of many colleagues acknowledged in a list that reads like a roll of honour for services to the real and now threatened NHS, has written a brave, necessary book.’
      • ‘Thousands of motorcyclists participated in the Star Rider programme developed by Fingal County Council that topped the roll of honour at the Irish Road Safety Endeavour Awards.’
      • ‘They've never nailed their name to the European Cup roll of honour.’
      • ‘It's a roll of honour of historical figures over the last 300, 400 years, from Gandhi to Margaret Thatcher.’
      • ‘The roll of honour includes many hugely respected figures from Britain's past including William Shakespeare, Horatio Nelson and Charles Darwin.’
      • ‘The roll of honour includes luminaries such as Theodor Mommsen, Max Planck, Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg.’
      • ‘It is traditional for new fellows of the society to walk to the podium in the large meeting room that dominates the building in order to sign the roll of honor and shake the president's hand.’
      • ‘All individual and company contributors, except for those desiring to remain anonymous, will be recognized in writing every year in the form of a foundation roll of honor.’
      • ‘I hope all their names are on some roll of honor somewhere.’
      • ‘A roll of honor was inscribed to one side, bearing the names of every man who had played for the Squad in the last hundred years.’
    roll one's own
    • Make one's own cigarettes from loose tobacco.

      • ‘Plus, and this is a big plus, you don't smoke as much tobacco when you roll your own.’
      • ‘He has smoked for 55 years, for many years he rolled his own, and later switched to 2-3 packs/day.’
      • ‘As the settlement exerts a greater effect and cigarette prices rise, some smokers may switch from full-price to discount brands or roll their own, at least for a while.’
      • ‘No need to roll your own because they've already rolled some for you, prepackaged in 5s and 10s, and without a huge government health warning all over the packet.’
      • ‘My father taught me how to roll my own when I was thirteen, but even back on the ship I didn't smoke much.’
    roll up one's sleeves
    • Prepare to fight or work.

      ‘my father said he would roll up his sleeves and take on anyone who laid a finger on us’
      • ‘He is prepared to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in.’
      • ‘Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get down to business.’
      • ‘We are prepared to roll up our sleeves and work for as long as necessary to make progress.’
      • ‘He woke up every day anxious to get to work, roll up his sleeves and fight for American farmers and their cooperatives.’
      • ‘I am not afraid of rolling up my sleeves and tackling these issues.’
      • ‘‘Together we will have to roll up our sleeves and begin to work together to make the district municipality the hottest economic development prospect,’ he said.’
      • ‘If there's a problem or an issue needs tackling, she just can't help rolling up her sleeves and getting stuck in.’
      • ‘I will be a prime minister who rolls up his sleeves and gets things done.’
      • ‘Young people on a deprived Shipley estate have been praised for rolling up their sleeves and sprucing up a derelict site to make way for a new youth club.’
      • ‘Why the men haven't been rolling up their sleeves and doing their bit is not entirely clear.’
    roll with the punches
    • 1(of a boxer) move one's body away from an opponent's blows so as to lessen the impact.

      ‘Least I forget, he was slipping punches or rolling with the punches to diminish their impact.’
      • ‘Some nights, like his fight with Davey Moore, he'd roll with the punches.’
      • ‘His technique was to roll with the punches.’
      1. 1.1Adapt oneself to adverse circumstances.
        ‘Arguably, Ireland has rolled with the punches and adapted to necessary change.’
        • ‘But they are experts and know what to do to roll with the punches.’
        • ‘He kind of just rolls with the punches and sees things for what they are.’
        • ‘And so far the business community seems to be rolling with the punches.’
        • ‘Edward rolled with the punches; he accepted the new statutes imposed on him in Parliament, only to repeal them once Parliament had been dissolved.’
        • ‘As long as you stay aware of your spending and realize the ramifications of all your actions, you can roll with the punches and alter your plans to accommodate any needed changes.’
        • ‘By devoting time, energy, and commitment to something besides work, it will be much easier to roll with the punches at the office.’
        • ‘His limited experience with Angie had taught him that the best way to deal with her was to just roll with the punches.’
        • ‘Be realistic about your expectations and allow yourself to roll with the punches.’
        • ‘As the following seven cases demonstrate, rolling with the punches is good business.’
    rolled into one
    • (of characteristics drawn from different people or things) combined in one person or thing.

      ‘banks are several businesses rolled into one’
      • ‘The online company certainly has changed, but even now it is a hybrid: a bookstore, magazine and electronic agora all rolled into one.’
      • ‘It is essentially three movies rolled into one: a traditional superhero story, a coming-of-age tale, and a romance.’
      • ‘It's a tone poem, a scathing indictment of the Texas public health system, a tragedy, and a music video all rolled into one.’
      • ‘He's a wise sage, a joker, a politico, an eccentric artist, a culture buff and a visionary rolled into one.’
      • ‘It is a cleverly constructed spin on the life of Shakespeare, a period drama and romantic comedy rolled into one.’
      • ‘It tries desperately to be a comedy, a romance, a drama, and a musical all rolled into one.’
      • ‘Shot in black and white with dramatic and significant flashes of colour it's three stories rolled into one.’
      • ‘The film is both an action and a survival story rolled into one.’
      • ‘They can be a movie director, designer, inventor, animator and artist rolled into one.’
      • ‘The epistolary form in which the novel is written is many things rolled into one.’
    rolling drunk
    • So drunk as to be swaying or staggering.

      ‘two blokes coming out of a pub rolling drunk’
      • ‘On the Saturday morning, my mother rang the site and the head of security told her I was rolling drunk and knocking people over, but there is no way I was.’
      • ‘They get rolling drunk and throw up on the carpet.’
      • ‘Archie and I would then join the candidate in getting rolling drunk.’
      • ‘Fears were being expressed that the occasion might be ruined by people falling out of pubs and rolling drunk into the graveyard.’
      • ‘'She kept drinking cosmopolitans, and when she got to the event she was rolling drunk.’
    rolling in the aisles
    • (of an audience) laughing uncontrollably.

      • ‘the new comedy series had them rolling in the aisles’
      • ‘To be fair, this is just the kind of lowbrow humor that will have junior high and high school students rolling in the aisles.’
      • ‘Surely by now, you must be rolling in the aisles?’
      • ‘There are a few decent jokes, but nothing that'll have you rolling in the aisles with splitting sides.’
      • ‘But she also has us, if not rolling in the aisles, giggling occasionally.’
      • ‘The kooky comedy may have had 'em rolling in the aisles forty years ago, but today the humor feels a trifle campy and seriously dated.’
      • ‘If you're rolling in the aisles, convulsed with laughter, it doesn't matter how inane the material is.’
      • ‘That kind of stuff is guaranteed to have viewers rolling in the aisles.’
      • ‘He had them rolling in the aisles at his hilarious asides and unscripted ad-libs.’
      • ‘A hilarious Elvis impersonation show left the audience rolling in the aisles.’
      • ‘He was rolling in the aisle at their antics.’
    strike someone off the roll
    • Debar a solicitor from practising as a penalty for dishonesty or other misconduct.

      ‘The Tribunal made identical findings against myself and another Respondent but imposed wildly disparate penalties: I was struck off the roll whilst he was fined.’
      • ‘An application was also brought against Nelson Mandela in 1954 by the then Transvaal Law Society to strike him off the roll of attorneys, but he successfully defended the application.’
      • ‘That was the end of any correspondence with the Law Society or any further arguments about whether he would be struck off the roll.’

Phrasal Verbs

    roll back
    • roll something back, roll back somethingReverse the progress or reduce the power or importance of something.

      ‘the governments of the world have used this insecurity to roll back hard-won freedoms’
      • ‘Many of the gains made in the last 30 years have been rolled back.’
      • ‘Fourteen countries report new cases of polio - stark proof that scientific advances can be rolled back, given enough bad policy.’
      • ‘The protesters said if the decision of the government was not rolled back by August 1, they would be compelled to intensify the agitation.’
      • ‘As the welfare state is rolled back, it is vital consumers can come to rely on the financial industry's ability to deliver pensions and insurances in the same way we used to rely on the state.’
      • ‘The great supporters of human rights during the Cold War now quite readily either roll them back in their own countries or encourage others to do so and turn a blind eye.’
      • ‘Spending increases are becoming ingrained and it will be politically very difficult to roll them back.’
      • ‘And it's thoroughly foolhardy to roll the changes back, with all the attendant chaos, merely to reimplement them in another six months, even if such a thing could be accomplished.’
      • ‘Shouldn't we be asking what we need to do to roll it back before it crosses over to majority status?’
      • ‘You say it shouldn't be accepted, but can we hope to roll it back?’
      • ‘‘Every victory we won can be rolled back in just a few years,’ he said.’
    roll down
    • roll something down, roll down somethingMake a car window or a window blind move down.

      • ‘do not roll down the window to give a stranger directions’
    roll in
    • 1Be received in large amounts.

      ‘the money was rolling in’
      • ‘As the drinks flow and the money rolls in, Moe takes credit for the creation and cuts Homer out completely.’
      • ‘Now all 20th Century Fox had to do was wait for the money to start rolling in.’
      • ‘It's a time-tested formula: take some young talented stars, throw them in a genre piece, and watch the money roll in.’
      • ‘The caveat, of course, was that their new office was a business and therefore they had to keep the profits rolling in.’
      • ‘He's not incensed over the box office tallies his films garner; the dollars just keep rolling in.’
      • ‘Through it all, they prospered financially as donations to the cause rolled in.’
      • ‘Good crops or bad, high yields or low - it hardly matters, the checks roll in from the federal government, the biggest payroll in farm country.’
    • 2Casually arrive at a place late.

      ‘Steve rolled in about lunchtime’
      • ‘A spirited ‘Five Days In May,’ followed as some stragglers still rolled in.’
      • ‘She rolled in after 7pm again tonight.’
      • ‘He rolled in at eight this morning.’
      • ‘I rolled in over an hour late.’
    roll off
    • (of a product) issue from an assembly line or machine.

      ‘the new cars will start to roll off the line immediately’
      • ‘the first copies of the newspaper rolled off the presses’
    roll on
    British informal
    • in imperative Used to indicate that one wants a particular time or event to come quickly.

      • ‘roll on January!’
      • ‘So roll on the blockbuster season and another round of Lara Croft shoot-em-ups!’
      • ‘Roll on next Tuesday.’
      • ‘Roll on next year!’
    roll out
    • roll something out, roll out somethingOfficially launch or introduce a new product or service.

      ‘the firm rolled out its newest generation of supercomputers’
      • ‘The new products will be rolled out over the course of the fourth calendar quarter.’
      • ‘Since the launch, new applications have been rolled out gradually.’
      • ‘These issues will become more significant as new services are rolled out.’
      • ‘Starting in June, the product line will be rolled out to grocery stores nationwide.’
      • ‘The group submitted a business plan to the Department of Health last summer on how the service could be rolled out, but there is still no indication when this will happen.’
      • ‘He said people's fears in relation to electronic voting should be allayed as the new service is rolled out in the run-up to election day.’
      • ‘This has meant it has been able to roll the service out to the entire country much more quickly than its rivals and at lower cost.’
      • ‘This kind of testing should continue right up to deployment, so that there are no surprises when the application is rolled out onto the production network.’
      • ‘And if it proves to be successful the scheme will be rolled out across the borough and may lead to other council services being devolved in the future.’
      • ‘The new passports will be rolled out over a six month period after which production of non-biometric passports will stop.’
    roll over
    • 1Finance
      Contrive or extend a particular financial arrangement.

      ‘this is not a good time for rolling over corporate debt’
      • ‘The government announced last week it would roll the debt over to the next financial year.’
      • ‘You can remove these contributions from the plan tax-free before rolling the money over, although other penalties could apply.’
      • ‘Normally, trust companies roll these bonds over when they mature instead of redeeming them.’
      • ‘When payday comes, a clerk asks the applicant if hear she would like to roll the loan over to the next pay period.’
      • ‘If you have not used last year's allowance, you can roll it over for one year only.’
      1. 1.1British Carry over prize money in a lottery from one draw to the next, typically because the jackpot has not been won.
    roll up
    • 1(of a person or animal) curl up tightly.

      • ‘at the sight of the wolf, the porcupine rolls up into a ball’
    • 2roll something up, roll up somethingTurn something flexible over and over on itself to form a cylinder, tube, or ball.

      ‘she started to roll up her sleeping bag’
      • ‘add avocado and roll up the tortilla’
      • ‘When Arthur comes in from work in his bib and brace, his sleeves are rolled up above his elbows, and I see the inside of his arms, the sinews and knotty veins.’
      • ‘Just one donation can save the life of more than one patient so you can make a real difference from the very first time you roll your sleeve up to give blood.’
      • ‘His sleeves were rolled up far enough to show varied tattoos.’
      • ‘He was dressed just like Wesley except his sleeves were rolled up instead of his pants and he wore a white shirt instead of a blue one.’
      • ‘One sleeve of his tunic was rolled up.’
      • ‘The sleeves were rolled up to just below his elbows, giving me a glimpse of his toned, lightly tanned, and smoothly muscled forearms.’
      • ‘His sleeves were rolled up and his eyes ran over a piece of paper.’
      • ‘His shirt sleeves were rolled up, his collar unbuttoned, and his red tie hung loosely around his neck.’
      • ‘His sleeves are rolled up as though he should be the one immersed in washing up.’
      • ‘He rolled his sleeves up to his elbows.’
      • ‘Taking a deep breath, she rolled her sleeves up to the elbow.’
      • ‘Then she asked me to roll my sleeves up again and I knew something was wrong.’
      • ‘She had a towel around her neck and her sleeves were rolled up.’
      • ‘The first few buttons were unbuttoned and his sleeves were rolled up to the elbows.’
      • ‘The cuffs of his sleeves were rolled up nearly to his elbows, revealing minor scratches and cuts on his tan arms.’
      • ‘For some reason, his left sleeve was rolled up to his elbow, exposing his pale forearm.’
      • ‘His sleeves were rolled up almost to the elbows.’
      • ‘His sleeves were rolled up to just below his elbows.’
      • ‘His sleeves had been rolled up to his elbows, and he stared at me expectantly.’
      • ‘The cuffs were rolled up almost to his elbows.’
      1. 2.1Fold the edge of a garment over on itself a number of times to shorten it.
        • ‘she rolled up her sleeves to wash her hands’
    • 3Make a car window or a window blind move up.

      • ‘he rolled up the window and sped off’
    • 4 informal Casually arrive at a place.

      • ‘we rolled up at the same time’
      • ‘The bus rolls up to the porticoed entrance, literally bypassing the parking and traffic problems that the foundation's neighbors have been suing about.’
      • ‘One afternoon, while writing their names in wet cement, a car rolls up beside them and a man, claiming to be a cop, steps out.’
      • ‘With perfect timing, friendly Mick Taylor rolls up in his truck to save the day - except that the three young tourists are about to be led on a horrific journey into outback Australia's wildest heart of darkness.’
      • ‘When she rolls up to the house of the preternaturally nasty John at one point in the film, she seems genuinely surprised at his explosive reaction to her sudden intrusion.’
      • ‘On the verge of his big break, Austin is house-sitting his mother's home in LA when Lee rolls up out of the desert like a bad mirage.’
    • 5British in imperative Used to encourage passers-by to look at or participate in something, typically at a fairground.

      ‘roll up, roll up, for all the fun of the fair’
      • ‘Rather, we are bidden, in the prologue, to roll up and be entertained, to ‘come to the cabaret’, or, more properly, the circus, with its acrobatic performances, and its parade of exotic animals.’
      • ‘Roll up, roll up: the circus is coming to town.’
      • ‘Roll up, roll up and see the freak show.’
      • ‘Roll up, roll up, its the greatest show on earth!’
      • ‘He was just ringing a bell, shouting ‘Roll up, roll up to the Big Top.’’
    • 6roll something up, roll up somethingMilitary
      Drive the flank of an enemy line back and round so that the line is shortened or surrounded.

      ‘We had arrived in a great position to roll them up from the flank.’
      • ‘Unable to roll the line up, Rommel needed to break through it to get supplies to his armour, fighting hard to its east.’
      • ‘The most dangerous situation is to be drawn deep in among buildings where the enemy can ambush the attack and roll it up.’


Middle English from Old French rolle (noun), roller (verb), from Latin rotulus ‘a roll’, variant of rotula ‘little wheel’, diminutive of rota.