1 [roh-ler]
a person or thing that rolls.
a cylinder, wheel, caster, or the like, upon which something is rolled along.
a cylindrical body, revolving on a fixed axis, especially one to facilitate the movement of something passed over or around it.
a cylindrical object upon which something is rolled up: the roller of a window shade.
a hollow, cylindrical object of plastic, stiff net, or the like, upon which hair is rolled up for setting.
a cylindrical body for rolling over something to be spread out, leveled, crushed, smoothed, compacted, impressed, inked, etc.
any of various other revolving cylindrical bodies, as the barrel of a music box.
Metalworking. a person in charge of a rolling mill.
a long, swelling wave advancing steadily.
a rolled bandage.

1375–1425; late Middle English; see roll, -er1

9. breaker, comber. Unabridged


2 [roh-ler]
noun Ornithology.
any of several Old World birds of the family Coraciidae that tumble or roll over in flight, especially in the breeding season.
tumbler ( def 9 ).
one of a variety of canaries having a warbling or trilling song.

1655–65; < German Roller, derivative of rollen to roll Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To roller
World English Dictionary
roller (ˈrəʊlə)
1.  a cylinder having an absorbent surface and a handle, used for spreading paint
2.  Also called: garden roller a heavy cast-iron cylinder or pair of cylinders on an axle to which a handle is attached; used for flattening lawns
3.  Compare breaker a long heavy wave of the sea, advancing towards the shore
4.  a hardened cylinder of precision-ground steel that forms one of the rolling components of a roller bearing or of a linked driving chain
5.  a cylinder fitted on pivots, used to enable heavy objects to be easily moved; castor
6.  printing a cylinder, usually of hard rubber, used to ink a forme or plate before impression
7.  a cylindrical tube or barrel onto which material is rolled for transport or storage
8.  any of various other cylindrical devices that rotate about a cylinder, used for any of various purposes
9.  a small cylinder, esp one that is heated, onto which a woman's hair may be rolled to make it curl
10.  med a bandage consisting of a long strip of muslin or cheesecloth rolled tightly into a cylindrical form before application
11.  a band fastened around a horse's belly to keep a blanket in position
12.  any of various Old World birds of the family Coraciidae, such as Coracias garrulus (European roller), that have a blue, green, and brown plumage, a slightly hooked bill, and an erratic flight: order Coraciiformes (kingfishers, etc)
13.  (often capital) a variety of tumbler pigeon that performs characteristic backward somersaults in flight
14.  a breed of canary that has a soft trilling song in which the notes are run together
15.  a person or thing that rolls
16.  (Austral) a man who rolls and trims fleeces after shearing
17.  roadroller short for steamroller
18.  short for roller caption

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1420, "rolling pin," from roll (v.). Meaning "hair-curler" is attested from 1795. Religious holy roller is attested from 1842, Amer.Eng. Roller-skate first attested 1863, Amer.Eng.; the verb is from 1928. Rollerblade is first attested 1985, a registered proprietary name in U.S. Roller-coaster is recorded
from 1888; roller derby is from 1936.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


any of about 12 species of Old World birds constituting the family Coraciidae (order Coraciiformes), named for the dives and somersaults they perform during the display flights in courtship. The family is sometimes considered to include the ground rollers and cuckoo rollers. Rollers inhabit warm regions from Europe and Africa to Australia.

Learn more about roller with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
There are some things so elastic that even the heavy roller of democracy cannot
  flatten them altogether down.
Note that it's not necessary to roll the new lawn's surface with a water-filled
To make the surface durable, apply matte varnish according to the
  manufacturer's instructions with a foam roller.
Use a sprayer and roller to apply the product, then brush it in.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature