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round robin

or round-robin

a sequence or series.
a petition, remonstrance, or the like, having the signatures arranged in circular form so as to disguise the order of signing.
a letter, notice, or the like, circulated from person to person in a group, often with individual comments being added by each.
Sports. a tournament in which all of the entrants play each other at least once, failure to win a contest not resulting in elimination.
Origin of round robin
First recorded in 1540-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for round robin
Historical Examples
  • What do you say to our all signing a round robin, and sending it into the King?

    In Honour's Cause George Manville Fenn
  • She suggested a round robin and would not be at all ashamed to put her own name to it.

    Phineas Redux

    Anthony Trollope
  • Here is a round robin, addressed to the best of fellows, a member of the 'varsity shooting team and golf team.

    An American at Oxford John Corbin
  • The round robin sent to Dr. Johnson on the subject of his epitaph on Goldsmith is well known.

  • "If Haas puts it off another day I'm going to start a round robin, whatever that is," said Truxton.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • He happens to spy the round robin looking over his nest, and—yes—winking at him.

  • The men signed a round robin, wherein they declared that they would not fire a gun till they were paid.

    The Jest Book Mark Lemon
  • Men all in a panic of fear; sent a round robin, asking to have double watch, as they fear to be alone.

    Dracula Bram Stoker
  • Im so sorry I signed that round robin, or said anything against her being on the team.

  • The round robin went to Mrs.Case and, after an interview with the principal, Mrs.Case went again to call on Hester at her home.

British Dictionary definitions for round robin

round robin

a letter, esp a petition or protest, having the signatures in a circle in order to disguise the order of signing
any letter or petition signed by a number of people
(US & Canadian) a tournament, as in a competitive game or sport, in which each player plays against every other player
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 round robin

"petition or complaint signed in a circle to disguise the order in which names were affixed and prevent ringleaders from being identified," 1730, originally in reference to sailors and frequently identified as a nautical term. As a kind of tournament in which each player plays the others, it is recorded from 1895.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with round robin

round robin

A petition or other document signed by several persons in sequence, so that no one can tell who was the first to sign it. For example, We decided to send a round robin to management to protest the new rules about work hours. This term originally referred to a grievance presented by seamen to their captain, called round because of the circular sequence of names, but the source of robin has been lost. [ Early 1700s ]
In sports, a tournament in which each player or team plays against all of the others in turn. For example, The club always holds a tennis round robin on the Fourth of July. [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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