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[lawg-roh-ling, log-] /ˈlɔgˌroʊ lɪŋ, ˈlɒg-/
U.S. Politics. the exchange of support or favors, especially by legislators for mutual political gain as by voting for each other's bills.
cronyism or mutual favoritism among writers, editors, or critics, as in the form of reciprocal flattering reviews; back scratching.
the action of rolling a log or logs to a particular place.
the action of rotating a log rapidly in the water by treading upon it, especially as a competitive sport; birling.
Origin of logrolling
An Americanism dating back to 1785-95; log1 + rolling


[lawg-rohl, log-] /ˈlɔgˌroʊl, ˈlɒg-/ U.S. Politics.
verb (used with object)
to procure the passage of (a bill) by logrolling.
verb (used without object)
to engage in political logrolling.
1825-35, Americanism; back formation from logrolling
Related forms
logroller, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for logrolling
Historical Examples
  • These appropriations are secured by what you call in America ‘logrolling.’

    The Land of the Kangaroo

    Thomas Wallace Knox
  • The state capital was moved to Springfield as a part of the give and take of logrolling.

    Children of the Market Place

    Edgar Lee Masters
British Dictionary definitions for logrolling


(US) the practice of undemocratic agreements between politicians involving mutual favours, the trading of votes, etc
another name for birling See birl1


(mainly US) to use logrolling in order to procure the passage of (legislation)
Derived Forms
logroller, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for logrolling

also log-rolling, in the legislative vote-trading sense, 1823, American English, from the notion of neighbors on the frontier helping one another with the heavy work of clearing land and building cabins (as in phrase you roll my log and I'll roll yours); see log (n.1) + rolling.

LOG-ROLLING. 1. In the lumber regions of Maine it is customary for men of different logging camps to appoint days for helping each other in rolling the logs to the river, after they are felled and trimmed -- this rolling being about the hardest work incident to the business. Thus the men of three or four camps will unite, say on Monday, to roll for camp No. 1, -- on Tuesday for camp No. 2, -- on Wednesday for camp No. 3, -- and so on, through the whole number of camps within convenient distance of each other. [Bartlett]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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logrolling in Culture

logrolling definition

In politics, advance agreement by legislators to vote for one another's bills. Logrolling is most common when legislators are trying to secure votes for bills that will benefit their home districts. For example, a group of congressmen from the Middle West pushing for higher dairy prices and a group of southern congressmen supporting higher tobacco prices might make a logrolling agreement in order to get both bills passed.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for logrolling



The congressional practice of canny reciprocal assistance in getting votes: Thus, when members of Congress find themselves not able to secure the passage of a measure of purely local interest, they are apt to resort to logrolling

[1823+; said to be based on a proverbial phrase, ''You roll my log and I'll roll yours'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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