From Middle English rollen, partly from Old French roller, roler, röeler, röoler, from Medieval Latin rotulāre (“to roll; to revolve”), from Latin rotula (“a little wheel”), diminutive of rota (“a wheel”); partly from Anglo-Latin rollāre, from the same ultimate source.
roll (third-person singular simple present rolls, present participle rolling, simple past and past participle rolled)
- (transitive) To cause to revolve by turning over and over; to move by turning on an axis; to impel forward by causing to turn over and over on a supporting surface.
To roll a wheel, a ball, or a barrel.
- (intransitive) To turn over and over.
The child will roll on the floor.
- c. 1599, William Shakespeare, The Life of Henry the Fifth
- And her foot, look you, is fixed upon a spherical stone, which rolls, and rolls, and rolls.
- 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses Chapter 13
- The gentleman aimed the ball once or twice and then threw it up the strand towards Cissy Caffrey but it rolled down the slope and stopped right under Gerty's skirt near the little pool by the rock.
- (intransitive) To tumble in gymnastics; to do a somersault.
- (transitive) To wrap (something) round on itself; to form into a spherical or cylindrical body by causing to turn over and over.
To roll a sheet of paper; to roll clay or putty into a ball.
- (transitive) To bind or involve by winding, as in a bandage; to enwrap; often with up.
To roll up the map for shipping.
- (intransitive) To be wound or formed into a cylinder or ball.
- The cloth rolls unevenly; the snow rolls well.
- (ergative) To drive or impel forward with an easy motion, as of rolling.
This river will roll its waters to the ocean.
- (ergative) To utter copiously, especially with sounding words; to utter with a deep sound; — often with forth, or out.
To roll forth someone's praises; to roll out sentences.
- (transitive) To press or level with a roller; to spread or form with a roll, roller, or rollers.
to roll a field; to roll paste; to roll steel rails.
- (intransitive) To spread itself under a roller or rolling-pin.
- The pastry rolls well.
- (ergative) To move, or cause to be moved, upon, or by means of, rollers or small wheels.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
We expressed our readiness, and in ten minutes were in the station wagon, rolling rapidly down the long drive, for it was then after nine. We passed on the way the van of the guests from Asquith.
2013 June 1, “Ideas coming down the track”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 13 (Technology Quarterly):
A “moving platform” scheme […] is more technologically ambitious than maglev trains even though it relies on conventional rails. Local trains would use side-by-side rails to roll alongside intercity trains and allow passengers to switch trains by stepping through docking bays.
- (chiefly US, Canada, colloquial, intransitive) To leave or begin a journey.
I want to get there early; let's roll.
- (chiefly US, Canada, colloquial, intransitive) To compete, especially with vigor.
OK guys, we're only down by two points. Let's roll!
- (transitive) To beat with rapid, continuous strokes, as a drum; to sound a roll upon.
- (geometry) To apply (one line or surface) to another without slipping; to bring all the parts of (one line or surface) into successive contact with another, in such a manner that at every instant the parts that have been in contact are equal.
- (transitive) To turn over in one's mind; to revolve.
- (US, slang, intransitive) To behave in a certain way; to adopt a general disposition toward a situation.
I was going to kick his ass, but he wasn't worth getting all worked up over; I don't roll like that.
- 2006, Chris McKenna, "Kids at party chant as police sergeant is beaten by angry teens", Times Herald-Record (Middletown, NY), Tuesday, November 21, .
- "This is how we roll in Spring Valley," one teen reportedly boasted.
- (dice games, intransitive) To throw dice.
- (dice games, transitive) To roll dice such that they form a given pattern or total.
If you roll doubles, you get an extra turn.
With two dice, you're more likely to roll seven than ten.
- (role-playing games) To create a new character in a role-playing game, especially by using dice to determine properties.
I'm gonna go and roll a new shaman tonight.
- (intransitive, computing) To generate a random number.
- (intransitive, nautical, of a vessel) To rotate on its fore-and-aft axis, causing its sides to go up and down. Compare with pitch.
- (intransitive, in folk songs) To travel by sailing.
- 19th c., Rolling Down to Old Maui (anon.)
- We're homeward bound from the Arctic ground / Rolling down to Old Maui
- early 20th c., Randy Dandy-O (anon.)
- Now we are ready to head for the Horn / Way-hey, roll and go!
- (transitive) To beat up; to attack and cause physical damage to.
2006, Elizabeth Gaffney, Metropolis, page 422:
They rolled him for his money, and that would have been that, but the guy tried to fight back.
- (transitive, slang) To cause to betray secrets or to testify for the prosecution.
The feds rolled him by giving him a free pass for most of what he'd done.
- (intransitive, slang) To betray secrets.
He rolled on those guys after being in jail two days.
- (slang, intransitive) To be under the influence of MDMA (a psychedelic stimulant, also known as ecstasy).
- 2000, Michael Sunstar, Underground Rave Dance, Writers Club Press, →ISBN, page 15:
- Cindy replied, “Wow, that’s great. Did you try E at those parties?” Steel said, “Oh yeah. I was rolling hard at the Willy Wonka party.”
- 2003, Karin Slaughter, A Faint Cold Fear (novel), HarperCollins, →ISBN, page 169:
- The crowd was rolling on Ecstasy, and the lights enhanced the experience. […] He would use it to keep his teeth from chattering while he was rolling.
- a. 2007, unidentified Internet user quoted in Joseph A. Kotarba, “Music as a Feature of the Online Discussion of Illegal Drugs”, in Edward Murguía et al. (editors), Real Drugs in a Virtual World: Drug Discourse and Community Online, Lexington Books (2007), →ISBN
- So the quesion is When you are rolling what gets you in that “ecstasy” state more: hard pounding energetic music or smoother and gentler music? Personally for me its gentler music because when I’m rolling my mind can’t really keep up with all the hard pounding intriquet sounds […]
- (transitive, intransitive, of a camera) To (cause to) film.
The cameras are rolling.
It's time to roll the cameras.
- (transitive, soccer) To slip past (a defender) with the ball.
2012 April 15, Phil McNulty, “Tottenham 1-5 Chelsea”, in BBC:
So it was against the run of play that their London rivals took the lead two minutes before the interval through Drogba. He rolled William Gallas inside the area before flashing a stunning finish high past keeper Carlo Cudicini.
- 2014, Jacob Steinberg, "Wigan shock Manchester City in FA Cup again to reach semi-finals", The Guardian, 9 March 2014:
- Rolled far too easily by Marc-Antoine Fortuné, Demichelis compounded his error by standing on the striker's foot. In the absence of the injured Watson, Gómez converted the penalty.
- (intransitive) To have a rolling aspect.
the hills rolled on
2019 November 21, Samanth Subramanian, “How our home delivery habit reshaped the world”, in The Guardian:
In this part of Warwickshire, the land rolls gently, so that, upon cresting a low rise or passing a copse of wind turbines, you suddenly spot a lot full of lorries or a complex of gigantic sheds.
- (figuratively, intransitive) To perform a periodical revolution; to move onward as with a revolution.
- The years roll on.
- (intransitive) To move, like waves or billows, with alternate swell and depression.
- (figuratively, intransitive) to move and cause an effect on someone
- 1718, Matthew Prior, Solomon On The Vanity Of The World
- Here tell me, if thou darest, my conscious soul,
- what different sorrows did within thee roll?
- (intransitive) To make a loud or heavy rumbling noise.
- The thunder rolled and the lightning flashed.
- (transitive) To utter with an alveolar trill.
- Many languages roll their r's.
- (transitive, US) To enrobe in toilet-paper (as a prank or spectacle).
The kids rolled the principal's house and yard.
- (transitive) To create a customized version of.
- 2000, Mark F. Komarinski and Cary Collett, Red Hat Linux System Administration Handbook, page 311, 
Let's go through and outline how you might roll a kernel for a networked Linux machine you are using as your desktop machine and a file server for a network of Windows and Mac machines.
- 2006, Keyboard, volume 32, page 188, 
The clap in "Situation" is a standard Roland TR- 808 clap with a some compression and a bunch of reverb. But we can roll our own version using a soft synth and a have more flexibility, specifically in getting the extra decay for full "smash," as opposed to the short clap on Roland TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines.
- 2010, Joseph Rattz and Adam Freeman, Pro LINQ: Language Integrated Query in C# 2010, page 208, 
For the second prototype's example, shown in Listing 5–64, we roll our own version of the Sum operator.
- 2015, Hyer Thomas, Derivatives Algorithms - Volume 1: Bones (Second Edition), page 135, 
Cube_ as a special case of an N-dimensional array. Unfortunately, our need to efficiently
Swap with lower-dimensional containers is not supported by the
boost::multi_array template, so we must roll our own.
to cause to revolve
- Irish: roll
- Italian: far rotolare, far girare (wheels)
- Japanese: 転がる (ころがる, korogaru) (intransitive), 転がす (ころがす, korogasu) (transitive)
- Khmer: please add this translation if you can
- Korean: 구르다 (ko) (gureuda) (intransitive), 굴리다 (gullida) (transitive)
- Sorani: با دان (ku) (ba dan)
- Maori: pīrori
- Mongolian: please add this translation if you can
- Old English: wieltan
- Polish: toczyć (pl)
- Portuguese: rolar (pt), girar (pt)
- Romanian: roti (ro), rostogoli (ro), învârti (ro)
- Russian: кати́ть (ru) (katítʹ) (concrete), ката́ть (ru) (katátʹ) (abstract)
- Spanish: rodar (es), rodear (es)
- Swedish: rulla (sv)
- Thai: please add this translation if you can
- Ukrainian: коти́ти (uk) impf (kotýty)
- Vietnamese: lăn (vi)
to bind or involve by winding
to drive or impel forward with an easy motion
to press or level with a roller
to move, or cause to be moved, upon rollers or small wheels
to beat with rapid, continuous strokes, as a drum
to rotate on fore-and-aft axis
geometry: to apply (one line or surface) to another without slipping
to turn over in one's mind
US slang: a manner of behaving or a way of doing certain things
to be under the influence of MDMA
to make noise like thunder
to utter with a trill
- French: rouler (fr)
- German: please add this translation if you can
- Italian: please add this translation if you can
- Japanese: please add this translation if you can
- Spanish: trinar (es), gorjear (es)
- Thai: please add this translation if you can
roll (plural rolls)
- The act or result of rolling, or state of being rolled.
the roll of a ball
Look at the roll of the waves.
the roll of her eyes
- A forward or backward roll in gymnastics; going head over heels. A tumble.
- Something which rolls.
- A heavy cylinder used to break clods.
- One of a set of revolving cylinders, or rollers, between which metal is pressed, formed, or smoothed, as in a rolling mill.
to pass rails through the rolls
- A swagger or rolling gait.
- A heavy, reverberatory sound.
Hear the roll of cannon.
There was a roll of thunder and the rain began to pour down.
- The uniform beating of a drum with strokes so rapid as scarcely to be distinguished by the ear.
- (nautical, aviation) The oscillating movement of a nautical vessel as it rotates from side to side, on its fore-and-aft axis, causing its sides to go up and down, as distinguished from the alternate rise and fall of bow and stern called pitching; or the equivalent in an aircraft.
- (nautical) The measure or extent to which a vessel rotates from side to side, on its fore-and-aft axis.
- The rotation angle about the longitudinal axis.
Calculate the roll of that aircraft.
- The act of, or total resulting from, rolling one or more dice.
Make your roll.
Whoever gets the highest roll moves first.
- A winning streak of continuing luck, especially at gambling (and especially in the phrase on a roll).
He is on a roll tonight.
- A training match for a fighting dog.
the act of rolling
- Dutch: rol (nl)
- Finnish: rullaus (fi), jyrääminen, valssaus (fi), kelaus, kaulinta
- French: roulement (fr) m
- German: (intransitive) Rollen (de), (a cigarette, etc.) (please verify) Drehen (de), (steel bars, etc) Walzen (de), Rolle (de) f, Rollen (de) m
- Hebrew: גלגול m (gilgul)
- Hindi: घुमना (hi) (ghumnā)
- Italian: rotolare (it), rotolamento (it) m
- Portuguese: rolagem f
- Russian: ката́ние (ru) n (katánije), враще́ние (ru) n (vraščénije)
- Spanish: ruedo (es) m, rodeo (es) m
- Swedish: rullande (sv) n, rullning (sv) c
- Vietnamese: (please verify) sự lăn (vi) , (act of causing to revolve) (please verify) việc lăn , (please verify) sự cuốn (vi) , (please verify) việc cuốn , (please verify) sự cuộn , (act of wrapping round on itself) (please verify) việc cuộn , (please verify) sự quấn (vi) , (act of binding or involving by winding) (please verify) việc quấn , (please verify) sự đẩy (vi) , (please verify) việc đẩy , (please verify) sự cuốn , (act of driving or impelling forward with an easy motion) (please verify) việc cuốn
that which rolls; a roller
a heavy cylinder used to break clods
oscillating movement of a vessel from side to side
a heavy, reverberatory sound
the uniform beating of a drum
the rotation angle about the longitudinal axis
From Middle English rolle, from Old French rolle, role, roule, from Medieval Latin rotulus (“a roll, list, catalogue, schedule, record, a paper or parchment rolled up”); as such, it is a doublet of role.
roll (plural rolls)
- That which is rolled up.
a roll of fat, of wool, paper, cloth, etc.
- A document written on a piece of parchment, paper, or other materials which may be rolled up; a scroll.
- 1718, Matthew Prior, Solomon On The Vanity Of The World
- Busy angels spread / The lasting roll, recording what we say.
- An official or public document; a register; a record
- 1713 Sir M. Hale, The History of the Common Law of England (posthumously published)
- As to the rolls of parliament, viz. the entry of the several petitions, answers and transactions in parliament. Those are generally and successively extant of record in the Tower
- A catalogue or list
- c. 1666, John Davies, Historical Relations: Or, a Discovery of the True Causes Why Ireland Was Never Entirely Subdued, Nor Brought Under Obedience of the Crown of England Until the Beginning of the Reign of King James I
- The roll and list of that army doth remain.
- A quantity of cloth wound into a cylindrical form.
a roll of carpeting; a roll of ribbon
- A cylindrical twist of tobacco.
- A kind of shortened raised biscuit or bread, often rolled or doubled upon itself; see also bread roll.
- (obsolete) Part; office; duty; rôle.
1692, Roger L’Estrange, “[The Fables of Abstemius, &c.] Fab[le] CCCXI. A Son Singing at his Brothers Funeral.”, in Fables, of Æsop and Other Eminent Mythologists: […], London: Printed for R[ichard] Sare, […], OCLC 228727523, page 273:
THE Methods of Government and of Humane Society, muſt be Preſerv’d, where Every Man has his Roll, and his Station Aſſign’d him ; and it is not for One Man to break in upon the Province of Another.
- A measure of parchments, containing five dozen.
- 1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, p. 594:
- Parchement is sold by the dozen, and by the roll of five dozens.
an official or public document
a list of names or an official register of names
quantity of cloth wound into a cylindrical form
a cylindrical twist of tobacco
shortened raised biscuit or bread
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)
roll m (genitive singular roll, nominative plural rollanna)
roll (present analytic rollann, future analytic rollfaidh, verbal noun rolladh, past participle rollta)
- (transitive, intransitive) roll
- (transitive) form into a roll
* Indirect relative
† Archaic or dialect form
- "roll" in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla, An Gúm, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill.
- Entries containing “roll” in English-Irish Dictionary, An Gúm, 1959, by Tomás de Bhaldraithe.
- Entries containing “roll” in New English-Irish Dictionary by Foras na Gaeilge.
- roll (the rotation angle about the longitudinal axis)
- (part): huvudroll, huvudrollsinnehavare, karaktärsroll, könsroll, rollfördelning, rollista, rollspel, spela någon roll , det spelar ingen roll, titelroll, yrkesroll
- (rotation): tunnelroll