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[roil] /rɔɪl/
verb (used with object)
to render (water, wine, etc.) turbid by stirring up sediment.
to disturb or disquiet; irritate; vex:
to be roiled by a delay.
verb (used without object)
to move or proceed turbulently.
Origin of roil
First recorded in 1580-90; origin uncertain
Related forms
unroiled, adjective
Can be confused
roil, royal.
2. annoy, fret, ruffle, exasperate, provoke, rile. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for roiling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was looking up at her, as if struck dumb, roiling his eye wildly.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • What cared they that the ship was roiling and tumbling about?

    True Blue W.H.G. Kingston
  • He plunged about frantically and churned up the water, roiling the stream.

    Shaggycoat Clarence Hawkes
  • Whitecaps and a roiling sea told him there was plenty of wind in the squall.

    The Flying Stingaree Harold Leland Goodwin
  • roiling waters met the prows from end to end of the straits.

    Vikings of the Pacific

    Agnes C. Laut
British Dictionary definitions for roiling


(transitive) to make (a liquid) cloudy or turbid by stirring up dregs or sediment
(intransitive) (esp of a liquid) to be agitated or disturbed
(intransitive) (dialect) to be noisy or boisterous
(transitive) another word (now rare) for rile (sense 1)
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin; compare rile
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 roiling



1580s, of uncertain origin, probably from Middle French rouiller "to rust, make muddy," from Old French roil "mud, muck, rust" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *robicula, from Latin robigo "rust" (see robust). An earlier borrowing of the French verb is Middle English roil "to roam or rove about" (early 14c.). Related: Roiled; roiling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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