Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To fish for by trailing a baited line from behind a slowly moving boat.
  • transitive v. To fish in by trailing a baited line: troll the lake for bass.
  • transitive v. To trail (a baited line) in fishing.
  • transitive v. Slang To patrol (an area) in search for someone or something: "[Criminals] troll bus stations for young runaways” ( Pete Axthelm).
  • transitive v. Music To sing in succession the parts of (a round, for example).
  • transitive v. Music To sing heartily: troll a carol.
  • transitive v. To roll or revolve.
  • intransitive v. To fish by trailing a line, as from a moving boat.
  • intransitive v. To wander about; ramble.
  • intransitive v. Slang To patrol an area in search for someone or something.
  • intransitive v. Music To sing heartily or gaily.
  • intransitive v. To roll or spin around.
  • n. The act of trolling for fish.
  • n. A lure, such as a spoon or spinner, that is used for trolling.
  • n. Music A vocal composition in successive parts; a round.
  • n. A supernatural creature of Scandinavian folklore, variously portrayed as a friendly or mischievous dwarf or as a giant, that lives in caves, in the hills, or under bridges.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ugly person of either sex, especially one seeking random sexual experiences
  • n. optical ejections from the top of the electrically active core regions of thunderstorms that are red in color that seem to occur after tendrils of vigorous sprites extend downward toward the cloud tops
  • v. By extension, to incite anger (outside of an internet context); to provoke, harass or annoy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A supernatural being, often represented as of diminutive size, but sometimes as a giant, and fabled to inhabit caves, hills, and like places; a witch.
  • transitive v. To move circularly or volubly; to roll; to turn.
  • transitive v. To send about; to circulate, as a vessel in drinking.
  • transitive v. To sing the parts of in succession, as of a round, a catch, and the like; also, to sing loudly or freely.
  • transitive v. To angle for with a trolling line, or with a book drawn along the surface of the water; hence, to allure.
  • transitive v. To fish in; to seek to catch fish from.
  • intransitive v. To roll; to run about; to move around.
  • intransitive v. To move rapidly; to wag.
  • intransitive v. To take part in trolling a song.
  • intransitive v. To fish with a rod whose line runs on a reel; also, to fish by drawing the hook through the water.
  • n. The act of moving round; routine; repetition.
  • n. A song the parts of which are sung in succession; a catch; a round.
  • n. A trolley.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To roll; turn round.
  • To circulate; pass or send round, as a vessel of liquor at table.
  • To sing in the manner of a catch or round; also, to sing in a full, jovial voice.
  • To angle or fish for; especially, to angle for in a particular manner. See trolling.
  • To allure; entice; draw on.
  • To angle or fish in.
  • To roll; roll in.
  • To go round; pass; circulate: sometimes with an indefinite it.
  • To stroll; ramble.
  • To wag; move glibly.
  • To take part in a catch or round; sing catches or rounds.
  • To angle or fish in a particular manner. See trolling.
  • n. A going or moving round; roll; routine; repetition.
  • n. A song the parts of which are sung in succession; a round.
  • n. A reel on a fishing-rod.
  • n. Same as trolley, 1.
  • n. An artificial lure used in trolling.
  • n. Any long unshapely thing that trails on the ground; any long thing.
  • n. In Northern myth., a supernatural being, in old Icelandic literature represented as a kind of giant, but in modern Scandinavia regarded as of diminutive size and inhabiting a fine dwelling in the interior of some hill or mound, answering in some respects to the brownie of Scotland.

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

  • n. (Scandanavian folklore) a supernatural creature (either a dwarf or a giant) that is supposed to live in caves or in the mountains
  • v. cause to move round and round
  • v. sing the parts of (a round) in succession
  • v. sing loudly and without inhibition
  • v. praise or celebrate in song
  • v. speak or recite rapidly or in a rolling voice
  • n. a fisherman's lure that is used in trolling
  • n. angling by drawing a baited line through the water
  • n. a partsong in which voices follow each other; one voice starts and others join in one after another until all are singing different parts of the song at the same time
  • v. angle with a hook and line drawn through the water
  • v. circulate, move around

Etymologies

Middle English trollen, to wander about, from Old French troller, of Germanic origin.
Old Norse.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Norwegian, Danish or Swedish troll, from Old Norse trǫll “witch, mage, conjurer” (compare Icelandic tröll), possibly related to the Middle High German trolle ("spook, wraith, monster, ogre") . Norwegian fortrylle ("to bewitch"), Norwegian and Danish trylle ("to conjure") and Swedish trolla ("to conjure"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English troll ("to go about", "to stroll", "to roll from side to side"), from Old French troller (French trôler) and Middle High German trollen ("to stroll"); fishing sense possibly influenced by trawl and/or trail (Wiktionary)
From Middle English trollen, trollin ("to walk, wander"). Cognate with Low German trullen ("to troll"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • People on fanfiction.net rants sometimes accuse other people of being this.

    June 9, 2012

  • what a night.

    December 5, 2010

  • ...nigh.

    December 5, 2010

  • Sigh

    December 5, 2010

  • Anyone from the Lower Peninsula of Michigan (because they live below the bridge).

    October 19, 2010

  • Just to add about the usage of the word.

    I quote this from http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/66970
    If you have ever participated in an open Internet discussion group, particularly one that deals with contentious issues, you are probably familiar with the concept of a "troll." A troll is someone who is not really interested in the discussion at hand, but instead enjoys making outrageous or inflammatory remarks just to upset the other participants.

    October 7, 2010

  • March 3, 2010

  • I hope John is being paid handsomely for the advanced training.

    April 22, 2008

  • Uranus.
    I've been eyeballing the google ads this morning and have come to the conclusion that the often highly nonlinear thinking of many Wordie users and the resulting eclectic page content may be posing a bit of a challenge for google.

    I like that. On the other hand, it may be that we are just providing the beast with advanced training, thereby accelerating the move toward world domination.

    April 21, 2008

  • Uranus.
    Pro: You realize that you have more or less invited everyone to open all future comments with the U-word, don't you?

    April 21, 2008

  • Pro, at the risk of flagrantly denying your eminently useful suggestion, and although your proposal is almost exactly one that I try to follow myself... Sometimes the answer isn't silence, but more speech.

    A troll is just a troll, and probably won't stay long or come back. But there's not really a way to tell if a new user is a troll or just trying to figure stuff out. In the case of new users, those who hang out on this site owe it to them to try to be reasonable and explain our (sometimes bizarre) reactions.

    In the case of actual trolls, ignoring them does work. But so does merciless teasing (and if nothing else, it entertains those of us indulging in it).

    But in the case of hateful speech or flagrantly offensive speech... the answer is not censorship, nor is it letting the comment lie on the site like a time-bomb ready to destroy a casual user's day--it's talking them to death.

    But I love your comment, and I love that you chose this page to post it on. :)

    April 21, 2008

  • I'm so happy we don't have trolls in Wordie. But just in case anyone of us happened to see one of them,
    DON'T FEED TROLLS.
    If we don't like a discussion, let's just ignore it.

    (Personally, I won't open two of the pages anymore - unless the first line of the comment contains the word uranus.)

    April 21, 2008

  • Right, hence the modifier sadistic. I enjoy being a devil's advocate myself quite often, as it plays a valuable role in the Socratic method (a way I frequently converse with people). I assure you, my motives are always pure. :-P Trolls, however, are just rabblerousers and have no motives beyond their own epicaricous entertainment.

    October 18, 2007

  • I think this does an injustice to devil's advocates, many of whom have honorable motives.

    October 17, 2007

  • Someone who finds pleasure in starting flame wars on the internet. Sort of a sadistic devil's advocate.

    October 17, 2007