American English

Definition of roll verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they roll
    he / she / it rolls
    past simple rolled
    -ing form rolling
    jump to other results
    turn over
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to turn over and over and move in a particular direction; to make a round object do this + adv./prep. The ball rolled down the hill. We watched the waves rolling onto the beach. Tears rolled down her cheeks. roll something + adv./prep. Deliverymen were rolling barrels across the yard.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to turn over and over or around and around while remaining in the same place; to make something do this (+ adv./prep.) a dog rolling in the mud Her eyes rolled. roll something (+ adv./prep.) She rolled her eyes upward (= to show surprise or disapproval). He was rolling a pencil between his fingers.
  3. 3[intransitive, transitive] roll (somebody/something) over (onto something) roll (somebody/something) (over) onto something to turn over to face a different direction; to make someone or something do this roll over (onto something) She rolled over to get some sun on her back. roll onto something He rolled onto his back. roll somebody/something (over) (onto something) I rolled the baby over onto its stomach. to roll a dice/die (= in a game) She rolled her car in a 100 mph crash.
  4. move (as if) on wheels
  5. 4[intransitive, transitive] to move smoothly (on wheels or as if on wheels); to make something do this (+ adv./prep.) The car began to roll back down the hill. The traffic rolled slowly forward. Mist was rolling in from the sea. roll something (+ adv./prep.) He rolled the cart across the room.
  6. make ball/tube
  7. 5[transitive, intransitive] roll (something) (up) (into something) to make something/yourself into the shape of a ball or tube I rolled the string into a ball. We rolled up the carpet. a rolled-up newspaper I always roll my own (= make my own cigarettes). The cat rolled up into a ball. compare unroll
  8. fold clothing
  9. 6[transitive] to fold the edge of a piece of clothing, etc. over and over on itself to make it shorter roll something up Roll up your sleeves. roll something + adv./prep. She rolled her jeans to her knees.
  10. make something flat
  11. 7[transitive] roll something (out) to make something flat by pushing something heavy over it Roll the dough on a floured surface.
  12. wrap up
  13. 8[transitive] roll somebody/something/yourself (up) in something to wrap or cover someone or something/yourself in something Roll the meat in the breadcrumbs. He rolled himself up in the blanket.
  14. of ship/plane/walk
  15. 9[intransitive, transitive] roll (something) (+ adv./prep.) to move or make something move from side to side He walked with a rolling gait. The ship was rolling heavily to and fro. compare pitch (6)
  16. make sound
  17. 10[intransitive, transitive] to make a long continuous sound rolling drums Thunder rolled. roll something to roll your r's (= by letting your tongue vibrate with each “r” sound)
  18. machine
  19. 11[intransitive, transitive] when a machine rolls or someone rolls it, it operates They had to repeat the scene because the cameras weren't rolling. roll something Roll the cameras!
  20. Idioms
    be rolling in money/it (informal)
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    to have a lot of money
    get/set/start/keep the ball rolling
    jump to other results
    to make something start happening; to make sure that something continues to happen
    heads will roll (for something) (informal) (usually humorous)
    jump to other results
    used to say that some people will be punished because of something that has happened
    let's roll (informal)
    jump to other results
    used to suggest to a group of people that you should all start doing something or going somewhere
    ready to roll (informal)
    jump to other results
    ready to start The show is just about ready to roll.
    rolled into one
    jump to other results
    combined in one person or thing Banks are several businesses rolled into one.
    rolling in the aisles (informal)
    jump to other results
    laughing a lot She soon had us rolling in the aisles.
    a rolling stone gathers no moss (saying)
    jump to other results
    a person who moves from place to place, job to job, etc. does not have a lot of money, possessions, or friends but is free from responsibilities
    roll/slip/trip off the tongue
    jump to other results
    to be easy to say or pronounce It's not a name that exactly trips off the tongue, is it?
    roll up your sleeves
    jump to other results
    to prepare to work or fight
    roll with the punches
    jump to other results
    to adapt yourself to a difficult situation
    turn/roll (over) in his/her grave
    jump to other results
    (of a person who is dead) likely to be very shocked or angry My father would turn over in his grave if he knew.
    Phrasal Verbsroll aroundroll somethingbackroll somethingdownroll inroll somethingoutroll overroll somethingoverroll uproll somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: roll