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



    BrE BrE//rəʊl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//roʊl//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they roll
    BrE BrE//rəʊl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//roʊl//
    he / she / it rolls
    BrE BrE//rəʊlz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//roʊlz//
    past simple rolled
    BrE BrE//rəʊld//
    ; NAmE NAmE//roʊld//
    past participle rolled
    BrE BrE//rəʊld//
    ; NAmE NAmE//roʊld//
    -ing form rolling
    BrE BrE//ˈrəʊlɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈroʊlɪŋ//
    Making films, Phonetics, Travelling by boat or ship
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    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. Delivery men were rolling barrels across the yard.
  2. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to turn over and over or round and round 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 upwards (= 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 somebody/something do this roll 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 stomach. to roll a dice/die (= in a game) (especially North American English) 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 forwards. Mist was rolling in from the sea. roll something (+ adv./prep.) He rolled the trolley 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 hedgehog 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 pastry on a floured surface.
  12. wrap up
  13. 8[transitive] roll somebody/something/yourself (up) in something to wrap or cover somebody/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 See related entries: Travelling by boat or ship
  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) See related entries: Phonetics
  18. machine
  19. 11[intransitive, transitive] when a machine rolls or somebody rolls it, it operates They had to repeat the scene because the cameras weren't rolling. roll something Roll the cameras! See related entries: Making films
  20. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French rolle (noun), roller (verb), from Latin rotulus ‘a roll’, variant of rotula ‘little wheel’, diminutive of rota.Extra examples A tear rolled slowly down her cheek. He quickly rolled over and got to his feet. He rolled the paper into a tight ball. Roll the pastry into a rectangle. She carried the magazine tightly rolled up in her hand. She lazily rolled her head on the pillow. The black car rolled smoothly down the street. The boulder easily rolled aside. The tigers rolled over and over in the mud. Thinly roll out a little icing of each colour. A dog was rolling in the mud. From the walls a trumpet sounded, a drum rolled and the gate swung open. He rolled the trolley across the hall. She rolled her eyes upwards. Take it in turns to roll the dice. Tanks rolled triumphantly into the city. The sky had darkened and thunder rolled in the west. You have to roll your r’s when speaking Spanish. I always roll my own. It is difficult to swat a fly with a rolled-up newspaper.Idioms (informal) to have a lot of money
    get/set/start/keep the ball rolling
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    to make something start happening; to make sure that something continues to happen
    heads will roll (for something)
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    (informal, usually humorous) used to say that some people will be punished because of something that has happened
    (informal, especially North American English) used to suggest to a group of people that you should all start doing something or going somewhere (informal) ready to start The show is just about ready to roll. combined in one person or thing Banks are several businesses rolled into one. (informal) laughing a lot She soon had us rolling in the aisles.
    a rolling stone gathers no moss
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    (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/slip/trip off the tongue
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    to be easy to say or pronounce It's not a name that exactly trips off the tongue, is it?
    (British English, informal) used to say that you want something to happen or arrive soon Roll on Friday! to prepare to work or fight to adapt yourself to a difficult situation
    turn in his/her grave (British English) (North American English also roll (over) in his/her grave)
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    (of a person who is dead) likely to be very shocked or angry My father would turn in his grave if he knew.
    Phrasal Verbsroll aroundroll somethingbackroll somethingdownroll inroll somethingoutroll overroll somebodyoverroll somethingoverroll uproll somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: roll