- short and plumply round, as a person or a young animal.
- a roly-poly person or thing.
- Chiefly British. a sheet of biscuit dough spread with jam, fruit, or the like, rolled up and steamed or baked.
Origin of roly-poly
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for roly-poly
They replied, "in two miles you will be amongst the roly-poly."Reminiscences of Queensland
William Henry Corfield
Fanny has made the roly-poly pudding,' says he; the chops are my part.The Book of Snobs
William Makepeace Thackeray
"I think they're lots of fun," said roly-poly Agnes, giggling again.The Corner House Girls at School
Grace Brooks Hill
Oh, a man can hold his own with an English roly-poly mate: he's not stifled!Diana of the Crossways, Complete
Aunt Madge had said so; also a roly-poly with foaming sauce.Captain Horace
- plump, buxom, or rotund
- British a strip of suet pastry spread with jam, fruit, or a savoury mixture, rolled up, and baked or steamed as a pudding
- a plump, buxom, or rotund person
- Australian an informal name for tumbleweed
Word Origin and History for roly-poly
"short and stout," 1820, probably a varied reduplication of roll (v.). As a noun, it was used as the name of various ball games from 1713, and it was used as early as 1610s in the sense of "rascal." As an appellation of a short, stout person, from 1836.