Etymology: Middle English rolle, from Anglo-French roule, rolle, from Medieval Latin rolla, alteration of rotula, from Latin, diminutive of rota wheel; akin to Old High German rad wheel, Welsh rhod, Sanskrit ratha wagon
Date: 13th century
(1) a written document that may be rolled up ; scroll; specifically a document containing an official or formal record <the rolls of parliament> (2) a manuscript book b. a list of names or related items ; catalog c. an official list <the voter rolls>: as (1) muster roll (2) a list of members of a school or class or of members of a legislative body 2. something that is rolled up into a cylinder or ball or rounded as if rolled <rolls of fat>: as a. a quantity (as of fabric or paper) rolled up to form a single package b. a hairdo in which some or all of the hair is rolled or curled up or under c. any of various food preparations rolled up for cooking or serving <cabbage rolls>; especially a small piece of baked yeast dough d. a cylindrical twist of tobacco e. a roll of paper on which music for a player piano is recorded in perforations which actuate the keys f. a flexible case (as of leather) in which aritcles may be rolled and fastened by straps or clasps <jewelry roll> g. (1) paper money folded or rolled into a wad (2) slang bankroll 3. something that performs a rolling action or movement ; roller 4. a wheel for making decorative lines on book covers; also a design impressed by such a tool II. verb Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French rouler, roller, from roele wheel, rowel & roule roll Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to impel forward by causing to turn over and over on a surface b. to cause to revolve by turning over and over on or as if on an axis c. to cause to move in a circular manner <they rolled their eyes at the absurdity> d. to form into a mass by turning over and over e. to impel forward with an easy continuous motion f. to cause to move in a given direction by or as if by turning a crank <rolled down the window> 2. a. to put a wrapping around ; enfold, envelop b. to wrap round on itself ; shape into a ball or roll <rolled up the newspaper>; also to produce by such shaping <rolled his own cigarettes> 3. to press, spread, or level with a roller ; make smooth, even, or compact <hulled and rolled oats> <roll paint> — often used with out <rolled out the dough> 4. a. to move on rollers or wheels <rolled the patient into the operating room> b. to cause to begin operating or moving <roll the cameras> 5. a. to sound with a full reverberating tone <rolled out the words> b. to make a continuous beating sound upon ; sound a roll upon <rolled their drums> c. to utter with a trill <rolled his r's> d. to play (a chord) in arpeggio style 6. to combine so as to comprise one entity — usually used in the phrase rolled into one <a shopping center, amusement park, and nightclub all rolled into one> 7. to rob (a drunk, sleeping, or unconscious person) usually by going through the pockets; broadly rob 8. bowl 1 intransitive verb 1. a. to move along a surface by rotation without sliding b. (1) to turn over and over <the children rolled in the grass> (2) to luxuriate in an abundant supply ; wallow <fairly rolling in money> 2. a. to move onward or around as if by completing a revolution ; elapse, pass <the months roll on> b. to shift the gaze continually <eyes rolling in terror> c. to revolve on an axis 3. to move about ; roam, wander 4. a. to go forward in an easy, gentle, or undulating manner <the waves rolled in> b. to flow in a continuous stream ; pour <money was rolling in> c. to flow as part of a stream of words or sounds <the names roll off your tongue> d. to have an undulating contour <rolling prairie> e. to lie extended ; stretch 5. a. to travel in a vehicle <rolling north on the highway> b. to become carried on a stream c. to move on wheels 6. a. to make a deep reverberating sound <the thunder rolls> b. trill 7. a. to swing from side to side <the ship heaved and rolled> b. to walk with a swinging gait ; sway 8. a. to take the form of a cylinder or ball b. to respond to rolling in a specified way 9. a. to get under way ; begin to move or operate b. to move forward ; develop and maintain impetus <the project finally got rolling>; especially to proceed or progress with notable ease or success <the team was rolling> 10. to execute a somersault 11. of a football quarterback to run toward one flank usually parallel to the line of scrimmage especially before throwing a pass — often used with out III. noun Date: 1688 1. a. a sound produced by rapid strokes on a drum b. a sonorous and often rhythmical flow of speech c. a heavy reverberatory sound <the roll of cannon> 2. a rolling movement or an action or process involving such movement <a roll of the dice> <an airplane's takeoff roll>: as a. a swaying movement of the body b. a side-to-side movement (as of a ship or train) c. (1) a flight maneuver in which a complete revolution about the longitudinal axis of an airplane is made with the horizontal direction of flight being approximately maintained (2) the motion of an aircraft or spacecraft about its longitudinal axis d. a somersault executed in contact with the ground
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.