1 verb
1 ROUND OBJECT (intransitive always + adv/prep, transitive) if something that is round rolls or if you roll it, it moves along a surface by turning over and over: The ball rolled into the street. | roll sth: Maybe we can roll the log to the middle of the campsite.
2 PERSON/ANIMAL (intransitive always + adv/prep) to turn your body over one or more times while lying down: The dog had been rolling in mud puddles. | Ralph rolled onto his stomach.
3 STH WITH WHEELS (intransitive always + adv/prep, transitive always + adv/prep) to move on wheels, or make something that has wheels move
(+ into/forwards/past etc): We watched as the bus rolled slowly backwards down the hill. | roll sth to/around/by etc: The waitress rolled the dessert cart over to our table.
4 PAPER/STRING ETC (T) also roll up to bend or wind something such as paper, string etc into the shape of a tube or ball: Harry rolled the newspaper and put a rubber band around it. | Roll the yarn into a ball.
5 DROP OF LIQUID (intransitive always + adv/prep) to move over a surface smoothly without stopping
(+ down/onto): Tears rolled down her cheeks.
6 WAVES/CLOUDS (intransitive always + adv/prep) to move in a particular direction
(+ into/towards etc): Mist rolled in from the sea. | waves rolling onto the beach
7 roll your eyes to move your eyes round and upwards, especially in order to show that you are annoyed: Marta rolled her eyes as Will started to tell another stupid joke.
8 GAME (I, T) if you roll dice, you throw them as part of a game
9 SHIP/PLANE (I) if a ship or plane rolls, it leans one way and then another with the motion of the water or air
10 MAKE STH FLAT (T) to make something flat by moving something heavy over it: Roll the pie crust flat with a rolling pin.
11 WALK (intransitive always + adv/prep) to walk in a rather uncontrolled way, moving your body from side to side, usually because you are drunk: We rolled out of the bar at about 3:00 that morning.
12 SOUND (I) if drums or thunder 1 (1) roll, they make a long low series of sounds
13 MACHINE/CAMERA (I) if a machine such as a film camera or a printing press rolls, it operates: Quiet! The cameras are rolling!
14 (all) rolled into one if something is several different things rolled into one, it includes qualities of all those things: Mum was cook, chauffeur, nurse, and entertainer all rolled into one.
15 get rolling if a plan, business etc gets rolling, it starts operating: When the business gets rolling, we'll have more time to think about other things.
16 roll a cigarette to make your own cigarette, using loose tobacco and special paper: roll your own (=make your own cigarettes): It's cheaper to roll your own.
17 roll out of bed informal to get out of bed: I finally rolled out of bed about noon.
18 be rolling in the aisles if people in a theatre, cinema etc are rolling in the aisles, they are laughing a lot
19 be ready to roll spoken especially AmE used to say you are ready to do something: OK, everything's in the car. Is everybody ready to roll?
20 roll on BrE used to say that you wish a time or event would come quickly: Roll on the weekend!
21 ATTACK (T) AmE to rob someone, especially when they are drunk and asleep: punks on the streets rolling drunks for small change
22 roll your r's to pronounce the sound
/r/ using your tongue in a way that makes the sound very long
23 a rolling stone gathers no moss used to say that someone who often changes jobs, etc does not have any real relationships or responsibilities
—see also: set/start/keep the ball rolling ball 1 (9), heads will roll head 1 (52), be rolling in it rolling (3) roll around/round phrasal verb (I) if something that happens regularly rolls around, it happens again: By the time autumn rolled around, we still hadn't finished painting the house. roll away phrasal verb (intransitive always + adv/prep) if countryside rolls away, it is full of small hills as far as you can see: green pastures rolling away into the distance roll sth back phrasal verb (T)
1 to force your opponents in a war to move back from their position
2 to reduce the influence or power of a system, government etc, especially because it has too much power: Dulles saw communism as something evil to be rolled back, not just contained.
3 AmE to reduce the price of something: the administration's promise to roll back taxes
roll sth down phrasal verb (T) roll a window down to open a car window roll in phrasal verb (I)
1 to happen or arrive in large numbers or quantities: Pleas for help were made to the public, and the money came rolling in.
2 to arrive later than usual or expected without seeming to be worried: Chris finally rolled in at about 4:00 am.
3 if clouds, mist etc roll in, they begin to cover an area of the sky or land: Fog rolled in from the sea.
roll sth out phrasal verb (T)
1 to make something flat and thin by pushing a special tube shaped object over it: Roll out the pastry.
2 to make something flat and straight on the ground, after it has been rolled into a tube shape: Roll out your sleeping bag inside the tent.
3 roll out the red carpet to make special preparations for an important visitor
roll over phrasal verb
1 (I) to turn your body round once so that you are lying in a different position: Ben rolled over and kissed her.
2 (T) roll sb/sth over to turn someone's body over on the ground: roll sb onto: The guards rolled him over onto his front.
roll up phrasal verb
1 roll your sleeves/trousers up to turn the ends of your sleeves etc over several times so that they are shorter
2 roll your sleeves up to start doing a job even though it is difficult or unpleasant: We're just going to have to roll our sleeves up and get on with it.
3 roll a window up to close the window of a car
4 (I) to arrive somewhere, especially late or unexpectedly: Brad and Debbie rolled up in their new convertible at about 9:00.
5 roll up! BrE spoken used to call people to come and watch or buy things at a circus (1), fair 3 (1)
2 noun
1 PAPER/FILM/MONEY ETC (C) a piece of paper, film, money that has been rolled into the shape of a tube
(+ of): a roll of film | 8 rolls of toilet paper for $1.99. | Dusty pulled a huge roll of $100 bills from his pocket.
2 BREAD (C) a small round loaf of bread for one person: Put the rolls on the table. | ham/cheese etc roll BrE (=one that is filled with ham, cheese etc)
a) the action of moving by rolling your body: a young horse having a roll in the field
b) a movement done, often as part of a sport, by rolling on the ground in a controlled way with your body curled: tumblers doing rolls and handstands at the circus
4 SHIP/PLANE (C) the movement of a ship or plane when it leans from side to side with the motion of the water or air
5 SKIN/FAT (countable + of) a thick layer of skin or fat, usually just below your waist
6 roll of drums/guns/thunder a long low, fairly loud sound made by drums etc
7 be on a roll informal to be having a lot of success with what you are trying to do
8 GAME (C) the action of throwing dice as part of a game: It's your roll, Rob.
9 LIST OF NAMES an official list of names, especially of people at a meeting, in a class etc: call/take the roll (=say the list of names to check that everyone on it is there)
10 roll in the hay informal an act of having sex with someone

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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