Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To move forward along a surface by revolving on an axis or by repeatedly turning over.
  • intransitive v. To travel or be moved on wheels or rollers: rolled down the sidewalk on their scooters.
  • intransitive v. To travel around; wander: roll from town to town.
  • intransitive v. To travel or be carried in a vehicle.
  • intransitive v. To be carried on a stream: The logs rolled down the cascading river.
  • intransitive v. To start to move or operate: The press wouldn't roll.
  • intransitive v. To work or succeed in a sustained way; gain momentum: The political campaign finally began to roll.
  • intransitive v. To go by; elapse: The days rolled along.
  • intransitive v. To recur. Often used with around: Summer has rolled around again.
  • intransitive v. To move in a periodic revolution, as a planet in its orbit.
  • intransitive v. To turn over and over: The puppy rolled in the mud.
  • intransitive v. To shift the gaze usually quickly and continually: The child's eyes rolled with fright.
  • intransitive v. To turn around or revolve on or as if on an axis.
  • intransitive v. To move or advance with a rising and falling motion; undulate: The waves rolled toward shore.
  • intransitive v. To extend or appear to extend in gentle rises and falls: The dunes roll to the sea.
  • intransitive v. To move or rock from side to side: The ship pitched and rolled in heavy seas.
  • intransitive v. To walk with a swaying, unsteady motion.
  • intransitive v. To take the shape of a ball or cylinder: Yarn rolls easily.
  • intransitive v. To become flattened by or as if by pressure applied by a roller.
  • intransitive v. To make a deep, prolonged, surging sound: Thunder rolled in the distance.
  • intransitive v. To make a sustained trilling sound, as certain birds do.
  • intransitive v. To beat a drum in a continuous series of short blows.
  • intransitive v. To pour or flow in or as if in a continual stream: tourists rolling into the city.
  • intransitive v. To enjoy ample amounts: rolled in the money.
  • transitive v. To cause to move forward along a surface by revolving on an axis or by repeatedly turning over.
  • transitive v. To move or push along on wheels or rollers: rolled the plane out of the hangar.
  • transitive v. To impel or send onward in a steady, swelling motion: The sea rolls its waves onto the sand.
  • transitive v. To impart a swaying, rocking motion to: Heavy seas rolled the ship.
  • transitive v. To turn around or partly turn around; rotate: rolled his head toward the door.
  • transitive v. To cause to begin moving or operating: roll the cameras; roll the presses.
  • transitive v. To extend or lay out: rolled out a long rope.
  • transitive v. To pronounce or utter with a trill: You must roll your r's in Spanish.
  • transitive v. To utter or emit in full, swelling tones.
  • transitive v. To beat (a drum) with a continuous series of short blows.
  • transitive v. To wrap (something) round and round upon itself or around something else: roll up a poster.
  • transitive v. To envelop or enfold in a covering: roll dirty laundry in a sheet.
  • transitive v. To make by shaping into a ball or cylinder: roll a cigarette.
  • transitive v. To spread, compress, or flatten by applying pressure with a roller: roll pastry dough.
  • transitive v. Printing To apply ink to (type) with a roller or rollers.
  • transitive v. Games To throw (dice), as in craps.
  • transitive v. Slang To rob (a drunken, sleeping, or otherwise helpless person).
  • n. The act or an instance of rolling.
  • n. Something rolled up: a roll of tape.
  • n. A quantity, as of cloth or wallpaper, rolled into a cylinder and often considered as a unit of measure.
  • n. A piece of parchment or paper that may be or is rolled up; a scroll.
  • n. A register or a catalogue.
  • n. A list of names of persons belonging to a group.
  • n. A mass in cylindrical or rounded form: a roll of tobacco.
  • n. A small rounded portion of bread.
  • n. A portion of food shaped like a tube with a filling.
  • n. A rolling, swaying, or rocking motion.
  • n. A gentle swell or undulation of a surface: the roll of the plains.
  • n. A deep reverberation or rumble: the roll of thunder.
  • n. A rapid succession of short sounds: the roll of a drum.
  • n. A trill: the roll of his r's.
  • n. A resonant, rhythmical flow of words.
  • n. A roller, especially a cylinder on which to roll something up or with which to flatten something.
  • n. A maneuver in which an airplane makes a single complete rotation about its longitudinal axis without changing direction or losing altitude.
  • n. Slang Money, especially a wad of paper money.
  • roll back To reduce (prices or wages, for example) to a previous lower level.
  • roll back To cause to turn back or retreat.
  • roll out To get out of bed.
  • roll out Football To execute a rollout.
  • roll over To defer or postpone payment of (an obligation).
  • roll over To renegotiate the terms of (a financial deal).
  • roll over To reinvest (funds from a maturing security or from a tax-deferred account) into a similar security or account.
  • roll up To arrive in a vehicle.
  • roll up To accumulate; amass: rolled up quite a fortune.
  • idiom on a roll Informal Undergoing or experiencing sustained, even increasing good fortune or success: "The stock market's on a roll” ( Karen Pennar).
  • idiom roll in the hay Slang Sexual intercourse.
  • idiom roll the bones Games To cast dice, especially in craps.
  • idiom roll with the punches Slang To cope with and withstand adversity, especially by being flexible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. 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.
  • v. To wrap round on itself; to form into a spherical or cylindrical body by causing to turn over and over.
  • v. To bind or involve by winding, as in a bandage; to inwrap; often with up.
  • v. To drive or impel forward with an easy motion, as of rolling.
  • v. To utter copiously, especially with sounding words; to utter with a deep sound; -- often with forth, or out.
  • v. To press or level with a roller; to spread or form with a roll, roller, or rollers.
  • v. To move, or cause to be moved, upon, or by means of, rollers or small wheels.
  • v. To leave or begin a journey.
  • v. To compete, especially with vigor.
  • v. To beat with rapid, continuous strokes, as a drum; to sound a roll upon.
  • v. 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.
  • v. To turn over in one's mind; to revolve.
  • v. To behave in a certain way; to adopt a general disposition toward a situation.
  • v. To throw dice.
  • v. To roll dice such that they form a given pattern or total.
  • v. To have a rolling aspect
  • v. To create a new character in a role-playing game.
  • v. To generate a random number.
  • v. To turn over and over.
  • v. To tumble in gymnastics.
  • v. when a nautical vessel rotates on its fore-and-aft axis, causing its sides to go up and down. Compare with pitch.
  • v. To beat up.
  • v. To cause to betray secrets or to testify for the prosecution.
  • v. To betray secrets.
  • v. To act.
  • v. To be under the influence of MDMA (a psychedelic stimulant, also known as ecstasy.
  • n. The act of rolling, or state of being rolled.
  • n. That which rolls; a roller
  • n. Specifically, a heavy cylinder used to break clods.
  • n. Specifically, one of a set of revolving cylinders, or rollers, between which metal is pressed, formed, or smoothed, as in a rolling mill; as, to pass rails through the rolls.
  • n. That which is rolled up; as, a roll of fat, of wool, paper, cloth, etc.
  • n. Specifically, a document written on a piece of parchment, paper, or other materials which may be rolled up; a scroll.
  • n. Hence, an official or public document; a register; a record; also, a catalogue; a list.
  • n. Specifically, a quantity of cloth wound into a cylindrical form; as, a roll of carpeting; a roll of ribbon.
  • n. Specifically, A cylindrical twist of tobacco.
  • n. A kind of shortened raised biscuit or bread, often rolled or doubled upon itself.
  • n. The oscillating movement of a vessel from side to side, in sea way, as distinguished from the alternate rise and fall of bow and stern called pitching.
  • n. A heavy, reverberatory sound.
  • n. The uniform beating of a drum with strokes so rapid as scarcely to be distinguished by the ear.
  • n. Part; office; duty; rôle.
  • n. A measure of parchments, containing five dozen.
  • n. the rotation angle about the longitudinal axis
  • n. The act of, or total resulting from, rolling one or more dice.
  • n. The measure of extent to which a nautical vessel rotates on its fore-and-aft axis, causing its sides to go up and down. Compare with pitch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of rolling, or state of being rolled.
  • n. That which rolls; a roller.
  • n. A heavy cylinder used to break clods.
  • n. One of a set of revolving cylinders, or rollers, between which metal is pressed, formed, or smoothed, as in a rolling mill.
  • n. That which is rolled up
  • n. A document written on a piece of parchment, paper, or other materials which may be rolled up; a scroll.
  • n. Hence, an official or public document; a register; a record; also, a catalogue; a list.
  • n. A quantity of cloth wound into a cylindrical form.
  • n. A cylindrical twist of tobacco.
  • n. A kind of shortened raised biscuit or bread, often rolled or doubled upon itself.
  • n. The oscillating movement of a vessel from side to side, in sea way, as distinguished from the alternate rise and fall of bow and stern called pitching.
  • n. A heavy, reverberatory sound.
  • n. The uniform beating of a drum with strokes so rapid as scarcely to be distinguished by the ear.
  • n. Part; office; duty; rôle.
  • intransitive v. To move, as a curved object may, along a surface by rotation without sliding; to revolve upon an axis; to turn over and over
  • intransitive v. To move on wheels.
  • intransitive v. To be wound or formed into a cylinder or ball
  • intransitive v. To fall or tumble; -- with over.
  • intransitive v. To perform a periodical revolution; to move onward as with a revolution
  • intransitive v. To turn; to move circularly.
  • intransitive v. To move, as waves or billows, with alternate swell and depression.
  • intransitive v. To incline first to one side, then to the other; to rock; ; in a general semse, to be tossed about.
  • intransitive v. To turn over, or from side to side, while lying down; to wallow.
  • intransitive v. To spread under a roller or rolling-pin.
  • intransitive v. To beat a drum with strokes so rapid that they can scarcely be distinguished by the ear.
  • intransitive v. To make a loud or heavy rumbling noise.
  • transitive v. 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.
  • transitive v. To wrap round on itself; to form into a spherical or cylindrical body by causing to turn over and over
  • transitive v. To bind or involve by winding, as in a bandage; to inwrap; -- often with up.
  • transitive v. To drive or impel forward with an easy motion, as of rolling.
  • transitive v. To utter copiously, esp. with sounding words; to utter with a deep sound; -- often with forth, or out
  • transitive v. To press or level with a roller; to spread or form with a roll, roller, or rollers
  • transitive v. To move, or cause to be moved, upon, or by means of, rollers or small wheels.
  • transitive v. To beat with rapid, continuous strokes, as a drum; to sound a roll upon.
  • transitive v. 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 suck manner that at every instant the parts that have been in contact are equal.
  • transitive v. To turn over in one's mind; to revolve.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To move like a carriage-wheel; move along a surface without slipping by perpetually turning over the foremost point of contact as an instantaneous axis: as, a ball or wheel rolls on the earth; a body rolls on an inclined plane.
  • To run or travel on wheels.
  • To revolve; perform a periodical revolution.
  • To turn; have a rotatory motion, generally reciprocating and irregular, especially in lateral directions: as, the ship rolls (that is, turns back and forth about a longitudinal axis).
  • To move like waves or billows; also, to move like a considerable body of water, as a river.
  • To fluctuate; move tumultuously.
  • To tumble or fall over and over.
  • To emit a deep prolonged sound, like the roll of a ball or the continuous beating of a drum.
  • To enroll one's self; be enrolled.
  • To trill: said of certain singing birds.
  • To lend itself to being coiled up in a cylindrical form: as, cloth that rolls well.
  • To ramble; wander abroad; gad about. Compare roil.
  • To cause to rotate; whirl or wheel.
  • To cause to move like a carriage-wheel; cause to move over a surface without sliding, by perpetually turning over the foremost point of contact: as, to roll a cask or a ball.
  • To turn over in one's thoughts; revolve; consider again and again.
  • To wrap round and round an axis, so as to bring into a compact cylindrical form: as, to roll a piece of cloth; to roll a sheet of paper; to roll parchment; to roll tobacco.
  • To bind or infold in a bandage or wrapper; inwrap.
  • To press or level with a roller; spread out with a roller or rolling-pin: as, to roll a field; to roll pie-crust.
  • To drive or impel forward with a sweeping, easy motion, as of rolling.
  • To give expression to or emit in a prolonged deep sound.
  • To utter with vibration of the tongue; trill.
  • In printing, to make (paper) smooth by passing it under calendering rollers.
  • To turn over by degrees, as a whale when cutting in.
  • In drum-playing, to beat with rapid blows so as to produce a continuous sound.
  • Synonyms Swing, etc. See rock, transitive verb
  • In bookbinding, to decorate, as the edges or the sides of the cover of a bound book, with a wheel-shaped tool which constantly repeats the design on its rim.
  • n. A cylinder formed by winding something round and round; that which is rolled up: as, a roll of wool; a roll of paper.
  • n. Specifically— A document of paper, parchment, or the like which is or may be rolled up; hence, an official document; a list; a register; a catalogue; a record: as, a muster-roll; a class-roll; a court-roll.
  • n. A long piece of cloth, paper, or the like, usually of uniform width throughout, and rolled upon either a round stick or a thin board, or upon itself merely, as the most convenient form of making a package. See roller, 2.
  • n. In cookery, something rolled up: as, a veal roll; a jelly roll. Specifically— A small cake of bread rolled or doubled on itself before baking: as, a French roll. Same as roly-poly, 2.
  • n. A cylindrical twist of tobacco
  • n. In carding, a slender, slightly compacted cylinder or sliver of carded wool, delivered from hand-cards or from the doffing-cylinder of a carding-machine. Such rolls were formerly much used in the hand-spinning of wool. For machine-spinning the sliver is extended into a continuous roving.
  • n. Part of the head-dress of a woman, a rounded cushion or mass of hair usually laid above the forehead, especially in the sixteenth century.
  • n. A revolving cylinder employed in any manner to operate upon a material, as in forming metals into bars, plates, or sheets, smoothing the surfaces of textures, as in paper-making, laundering, etc., or in comminuting substances, as in grinding grain, crushing ores, etc.
  • n. One of a pair of cylinders in a rolling-mill, between which metals are passed to form them into bars, plates, or sheets. See rolling-mill
  • n. In engraving, the cylindrical die of a transferring-press
  • n. In metallurgy, one of a pair of hard and strong metallic cylinders between which ores are crushed.
  • n. In paper-making, one of the cylinders of a calender; also, the cylinder of a pulping-engine. See calender, 1, and pulp-engine.
  • n. In high milling, one of a pair of metal cylinders through a series of which pairs grain is passed for successively crushing it to the requisite fineness. See high milling, under milling.
  • n. In calico-printing, a cylinder of a calico-printing machine.
  • n. The impression-cylinder of a printing-machine.
  • n. In a great variety of machines, one of the cylinders over which an endless apron extends, and upon which it is moved, as in the feed-aprons of carding-machines, pickers for opening cotton as taken from the bale, machines for manufacturing shoddy from rags, etc.
  • n. Either of a pair of plain or fluted cylinders between which material is passed to feed it into a machine, as in feeding rags to a shoddy-machine, paper to printing-presses, calico to calico-printing machines, etc. Such rolls are also called feed-rolls.
  • n. A hand-tool used by bookbinders for embossing book-covers, or forming thereon embossed gilded lines. It consists of either a plain or an embossed cylinder with a handle adapted to rest (when in use) against the shoulder of the workman. The roller is heated for use in embossing.
  • n. In the manufacture of plate-glass, a heavy metallic cylinder which spreads the “metal” on the table, and which, being supported on ways on opposite sides of the table, produces a sheet or plate of uniform thickness.
  • n. In building: A rounded strip fastened upon and extending along the ridge of a roof.
  • n. In a leaden roof, one of a number of rounded strips placed under the lead at intervals, whereby crawling of the metal through alternate expansion and contraction is prevented.
  • n. The act of rolling, or the state of being rolled; a rotatory movement: as, the roll of a ball; the roll of a ship.

Etymologies

Middle English rollen, from Old French roler, from Vulgar Latin *rotulāre, from Latin rotula, diminutive of rota, wheel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
For verb: From Middle English rollen, from Old French roler, from Medieval Latin rotulare ("to roll", "revolve"), from Latin rotula ("a little wheel"), diminutive of rota ("a wheel"). (Wiktionary)

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  • “Sgt. Justus told us the story of a 16-year-old girl whom he convinced to "roll" on her pimp. But before she could testify against him she disappeared -- and her pimp walked free.”

    The Huffington Post, Pornland, Oregon: Child Prostitution in Portland, by Dan Rather, May 18, 2010

    May 18, 2010