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[roh-luh nd] /ˈroʊ lənd/
Italian Orlando. the greatest of the paladins in the Charlemagne cycle of the chansons de geste, renowned for his prowess and the manner of his death in the battle of Roncesvalles (a.d. 778), also for his five days' combat with Oliver in which neither was the victor.
a male given name: from Germanic words meaning “glory” and “land.”.
a Roland for an Oliver, retaliation or a retort equal to its provocation; a blow for a blow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Roland
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  • Roland put the letter in his breast, and resigned himself to his fate.

    The Doctor's Wife M. E. Braddon
  • Roland would care no more for me, if he had received a vocation.

    In Convent Walls Emily Sarah Holt
  • The twilight was darkening into night, when six armed men ascended the stairs and burst into Roland's apartment.

  • Start Persian with me, if you like, and replace Roland with the money you get for passing.

  • A few paces from the door he met Roland Yorke, coming along in a white heat.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
British Dictionary definitions for Roland


the greatest of the legendary 12 peers (paladins, of whom Oliver was another) in attendance on Charlemagne; he died in battle at Roncesvalles (778 ad)
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 Roland

masc. proper name, from French, from Old High German Hrodland, literally "(having a) famous land." As legendary nephew of Charlemagne, celebrated in "Chanson de Roland," c.1300. His comrade was Oliver, hence a Roland for an Oliver (1610s) in expressions meaning "to give as good as one gets, tit for tat."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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