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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for roiling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The beat of their horses' hoofs came over the prairie like roiling thunder.

    The Texan Star Joseph A. Altsheler
  • He was looking up at her, as if struck dumb, roiling his eye wildly.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • There was a crackle of blue flame, a shriek that split the night, and the thing disintegrated in roiling clouds of bitter smoke.

    The Invaders Benjamin Ferris
  • He plunged about frantically and churned up the water, roiling the stream.

    Shaggycoat Clarence Hawkes
  • The napalm caught, tongues of flame and roiling, greasy smoke climbed up to the sky.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
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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