Definition of roll verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; roʊl

turn over

1 [intransitive, transitive] to turn over and over and move in a particular direction; to make a round object do this+ adverb/preposition The ball rolled down the hill.We watched the waves rolling onto the beach.Tears rolled down her cheeks.roll something + adverb/preposition Delivery men were rolling barrels across the yard.2 [intransitive, transitive] to turn over and over or round and round while remaining in the same place; to make something do this(+ adverb/preposition) a dog rolling in the mudHer eyes rolled.roll something (+ adverb/preposition) She rolled her eyes upwards (= to show surprise or disapproval).He was rolling a pencil between his fingers.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 somebody/something do thisroll over (onto something) She rolled over to let the sun brown her back.roll onto something He rolled onto his back.roll somebody/something (over) (onto something) I rolled the baby over onto its roll a dice/die(= in a game) (especially North American English) She rolled her car in a 100 mph crash.

move (as if) on wheels

4 [intransitive, transitive] to move smoothly (on wheels or as if on wheels); to make something do this(+ adverb/preposition) The car began to roll back down the hill.The traffic rolled slowly forwards.Mist was rolling in from the sea.roll something (+ adverb/preposition) He rolled the trolley across the room.

make ball/tube

5 [transitive, intransitive] roll (something) (up) (into something) to make something/yourself into the shape of a ball or tubeI rolled the string into a ball.We rolled up the carpet.a rolled-up newspaperI always roll my own(= make my own cigarettes).The hedgehog rolled up into a ball. compare unroll

fold clothing

6 [transitive] to fold the edge of a piece of clothing, etc. over and over on itself to make it shorterroll something up Roll up your sleeves.roll something + adverb/preposition She rolled her jeans to her knees.

make something flat

7 [transitive] roll something (out) to make something flat by pushing something heavy over itRoll the pastry on a floured surface.

wrap up

8 [transitive] roll somebody/something/yourself (up) in something to wrap or cover somebody/something/yourself in somethingRoll the meat in the breadcrumbs.He rolled himself up in the blanket.

of ship/plane/walk

9 [intransitive, transitive] roll (something) (+ adverb/preposition) to move or make something move from side to sideHe walked with a rolling gait.The ship was rolling heavily to and fro. compare pitch v. (6)

make sound

10 [intransitive, transitive] to make a long continuous soundrolling drumsThunder rolled.roll something to roll your r's(= by letting your tongue vibrate with each ‘r’ sound)


11 [intransitive, transitive] when a machine rolls or somebody rolls it, it operatesThey had to repeat the scene because the cameras weren't rolling.roll something Roll the cameras!

be rolling in money/it

(informal) to have a lot of money

let's roll

(informal, especially North American English) used to suggest to a group of people that you should all start doing something or going somewhere

rolled into one

combined in one person or thing
Banks are several businesses rolled into one.

rolling in the aisles

(informal) laughing a lotShe soon had us rolling in the aisles.

a rolling stone gathers no moss

(saying) 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 on…!

(British English, informal) used to say that you want something to happen or arrive soonRoll on Friday!

roll up your sleeves

to prepare to work or fight

roll with the punches

to adapt yourself to a difficult situation
more at get/set/start/keep the ball rolling at ball n., roll in his/her grave at grave1 n., heads will roll at head n., ready to roll at ready adjective, roll/trip off the tongue at tongue n.
Phrasal verbs

roll around

(British English also roll about) to be laughing so much that you can hardly control yourself

roll something back

1 to turn or force something back or further awayto roll back the frontiers of space2 (North American English) to reduce prices, etcto roll back inflation

roll something down

1 to open something by turning a handleHe rolled down his car window and started shouting at them.2 to make a rolled piece of clothing, etc. hang or lie flatto roll down your sleeves

roll in

(informal)1 to arrive in great numbers or amountsOffers of help are still rolling in.2 to arrive late at a place, without seeming worried or sorrySteve rolled in around lunchtime.

roll something out

1 to make something flat by pushing something over itRoll out the pastry.2 to officially make a new product available or start a new political campaign
The new model is to be rolled out in July. related noun roll-out

roll over

(informal) to be easily defeated without even tryingWe can't expect them to just roll over for us.They thought the unions would roll over.

roll somebody over

(British English, informal) to defeat somebody easilyThey rolled us over in the replay.

roll something over

(technical) to allow money that somebody owes to be paid back at a later dateThe bank refused to roll over the debt. related noun rollover

roll up

(informal) to arriveBill finally rolled up two hours late.Roll up! Roll up! (= used to invite people who are passing to form an audience)

roll something up

to close something by turning a handleShe rolled up all the windows.