[roh-lee-poh-lee, -poh-lee]
short and plumply round, as a person or a young animal.
noun, plural roly-polies.
a roly-poly person or thing.
Chiefly British. a sheet of biscuit dough spread with jam, fruit, or the like, rolled up and steamed or baked.

1595–1605; earlier rowle powle, rowly-powly worthless fellow, game involving rolling balls, rhyming compound based on roll (v.); for second element cf. poll1

1. fat, rotund, pudgy.

1. scrawny. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
roly-poly (ˈrəʊlɪˈpəʊlɪ)
1.  plump, buxom, or rotund
n , -lies
2.  (Brit) a strip of suet pastry spread with jam, fruit, or a savoury mixture, rolled up, and baked or steamed as a pudding
3.  a plump, buxom, or rotund person
4.  (Austral) an informal name for tumbleweed
[C17: apparently by reduplication from roly, from roll]

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

"short and stout," 1820, probably a varied reduplication of roll. As a noun, it was used as the name of various ball games from 1713, and it was used as early as 1613 in the sense of "rascal."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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