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[roo-let] /ruˈlɛt/
a game of chance played at a table marked off with numbers from 1 to 36, one or two zeros, and several other sections affording the players a variety of betting opportunities, and having in the center a revolving, dishlike device (roulette wheel) into which a small ball is spun to come to rest finally in one of the 37 or 38 compartments, indicating the winning number and its characteristics, as odd or even, red or black, and between 1 and 18 or 19 and 36.
a small wheel, especially one with sharp teeth, mounted in a handle, for making lines of marks, dots, or perforations:
engravers' roulettes; a roulette for perforating sheets of postage stamps.
Philately. a row of short cuts, in which no paper is removed, made between individual stamps to permit their ready separation.
verb (used with object), rouletted, rouletting.
to mark, impress, or perforate with a roulette.
Origin of roulette
1725-35; < French, diminutive of rouelle wheel. See rowel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for roulette
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By its means we shall be able to win an enormous sum of money at roulette.

    Chance in Chains Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • It made him think of the run of red that sometimes followed a run of black at roulette.

  • Charity consumes a saint's purse, as roulette consumes the possessions of a gambler, quite gradually.

    The Commission in Lunacy Honore de Balzac
  • In the casino a crowd is gathering round the roulette wheel.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
  • Now crimes do not run in series, like the numbers in roulette at Monte Carlo.

British Dictionary definitions for roulette


a gambling game in which a ball is dropped onto a spinning horizontal wheel divided into 37 or 38 coloured and numbered slots, with players betting on the slot into which the ball will fall
  1. a toothed wheel for making a line of perforations
  2. a tiny slit made by such a wheel on a sheet of stamps as an aid to tearing it apart
a curve generated by a point on one curve rolling on another
verb (transitive)
to use a roulette on (something), as in engraving, making stationery, etc
Word Origin
C18: from French, from rouelle a little wheel, from roue a wheel, from Latin rota
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 roulette

1734, "small wheel," from French roulette "gambling game played with a revolving wheel," literally "small wheel," from Old French roelete "little wheel" (12c.), formed on model of Late Latin rotella, diminutive of Latin rota "wheel" (see rotary). The game of chance so-called from 1745.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for roulette


Related Terms

vatican roulette

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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