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

  • n. A steam-driven machine equipped with a heavy roller for smoothing road surfaces.
  • n. A similar machine with an internal-combustion engine.
  • n. A ruthless or irresistible force or power.
  • transitive v. To smooth or level (a road) with a steamroller.
  • transitive v. To overwhelm or suppress ruthlessly; crush.
  • intransitive v. To move or proceed with overwhelming or crushing force.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a steam-powered heavy road roller
  • n. Any heavy road roller
  • n. any seemingly irresistible force
  • n. a pipe, used for smoking cannabis, open at both ends and having a bowl near one end; it rolls the smoke (steam)
  • v. to level a road using a steamroller
  • v. to proceed ruthlessly against all opposition as if with an overwhelming force; to overpower

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. bring to a specified state by overwhelming force or pressure
  • v. make level or flat with a steamroller
  • n. a massive inexorable force that seems to crush everything in its way
  • v. crush with a steamroller as if to level
  • n. vehicle equipped with heavy wide smooth rollers for compacting roads and pavements
  • v. overwhelm by using great force
  • v. proceed with great force


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The governor using what he calls steamroller tactics and frankly, he says in has nothing to do with immigration.

    CNN Transcript Oct 20, 2007

  • Spitzer ignoring the will of his people in New York using what he calls steamroller tactics to crush the opposition.

    CNN Transcript Oct 17, 2007

  • He may be what he calls a steamroller, but I think he's a weak-kneed, spineless steamroller, who is absolutely acting against the interests of his citizens and ignoring, ignoring the will of New York State citizens.

    CNN Transcript Oct 17, 2007

  • Spitzer is using what he calls steamroller tactics.

    CNN Transcript Oct 17, 2007

  • But unless it comes out of the gates strong, I doubt it will return next Fall, especially considering the fact that NBC will at that time cede five hours of Prime Time programming per week to Jay Leno (and seeing asKings will occupy the 10 PM slot, the Leno steamroller is heading in its direction).

    Which Shows will get Cancelled (Part 2)

  • You use that word steamroller, which is something he said when he first came into office.

    CNN Transcript Mar 11, 2008

  • If anyone believes the Spartans 'steamroller is losing speed, consider they have been No. 1 in USATODAY's final Super 25 ranking three of the past four years. - De La Salle isn't at a loss

  • Not just about you sexual indiscretions, but also your self righteous conduct as Attorney General and your attitude that you are the "steamroller".

    Spitzer wants to run again

  • From a reading of the available biographical sources it seems hard to deny that Peter Weiss did engage in a fairly advanced degree of creative and political opportunism, often tailoring his writing, painting and films to the intellectual fashions and preoccupations of his era - and with a degree of single-minded, humorless obduracy that led at least one contemporary observer to describe him as a "steamroller".

    Peter Weiss - 3

  • The last crusading attorney general to take the office, Eliot Spitzer, bragged that he was a political "steamroller," but his style as an intimidator doomed his initiatives, even before he lost his office in a prostitution scandal.

    Steve Rattner Wants Retaliation For 'Bully' Cuomo


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