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roller-coaster

[roh-ler-koh-ster, roh-li-]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to go up and down like a roller coaster; rise and fall: a narrow road roller-coastering around the mountain; a light boat roller-coastering over the waves.
  2. to experience a period of prosperity, happiness, security, or the like, followed by a contrasting period of economic depression, despair, or the like: The economy was roller-coastering throughout most of the decade.
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adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a roller coaster.
  2. resembling the progress of a ride on a roller coaster in sudden extreme changeableness.
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Origin of roller-coaster

First recorded in 1960–65

roller coaster

noun
  1. a small gravity railroad, especially in an amusement park, having a train with open cars that moves along a high, sharply winding trestle built with steep inclines that produce sudden, speedy plunges for thrill-seeking passengers.
  2. a car or train of cars for such a railroad.
  3. any phenomenon, period, or experience of persistent or violent ups and downs, as one fluctuating between prosperity and recession or elation and despair.
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Origin of roller coaster

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for roller-coaster

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I never closed my eyes all night, not with this roller-coaster sliding down one mountain and up another.

    Behind the Green Door

    Mildred A. Wirt


British Dictionary definitions for roller-coaster

roller coaster

noun
  1. another term for big dipper
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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