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roller-coaster

[roh-ler-koh-ster, roh-li-] /ˈroʊ lərˌkoʊ stər, ˈroʊ lɪ-/
verb (used without object)
1.
to go up and down like a roller coaster; rise and fall:
a narrow road roller-coastering around the mountain; a light boat roller-coastering over the waves.
2.
to experience a period of prosperity, happiness, security, or the like, followed by a contrasting period of economic depression, despair, or the like:
The economy was roller-coastering throughout most of the decade.
adjective
3.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a roller coaster.
4.
resembling the progress of a ride on a roller coaster in sudden extreme changeableness.
Origin
1960-1965
1960-65
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rollercoaster
  • The drawback is the emotional rollercoaster he rides.
  • The drama of the day adds to what has already been something of an emotional rollercoaster.
  • Yet the rollercoaster life of the embattled singer proved more powerful than his musical gifts.
  • Tommy had this one crazy idea where he wanted to put his drums on a rollercoaster.
  • It's a psychological rollercoaster that keeps the energy flowing and adrenaline pumping.
  • But as a metaphor for the industry, the rollercoaster is all wrong.
  • Some of the audience struggled to make sense of the rollercoaster-ride of disconnected themes and motifs.
  • The paintings are exhilarating in the way that a rollercoaster is exhilarating, with fear playing a major part in the pleasure.
  • It's an emotional rollercoaster and things don't turn out quite the way you may have though they would.
  • Pitch problems and a wavering, breathy singing style made her performances something of a rollercoaster.
Contemporary definitions for rollercoaster
adjective

changing between good and bad; uncontrollable or unstable

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
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Word Origin and History for rollercoaster
n.

also roller-coaster, and originally roller coaster, by 1884, perhaps mid-1870s, from roller + coaster. As a verb by 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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