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90s Slang You Should Know

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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for round-robin
Historical Examples
  • Chips and Bungs volunteered to head a mutiny, and a round-robin was drawn up and signed.

  • A 'round-robin' letter will cheer the poor girls wonderfully.

  • The whole county shall sign a round-robin to tell him it's a shame; and if any one dares to buy it we'll send him to Coventry.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • "This 'round-robin' is as plump as a partridge," she remarked.

  • They would be in round-robin communication with each other, yet never out of contact with the other stations.

    Deathworld Harry Harrison
  • There was talk even of sending a round-robin to Mrs. St. Clair.

    Pirate Gold Frederic Jesup Stimson
  • You may write a kind of round-robin letter and send it to me, and I'll send it to somebody else, who'll pass it on to the next.

  • "Let's write her a round-robin and say we wish she was back and we detest Miss Ormerod," suggested Marion impulsively.

    Loyal to the School Angela Brazil
  • Joyce's present did not arrive until the next day, and the round-robin letter from Warwick Hall was nearly a week late.

    Mary Ware in Texas Annie F. Johnston
  • After an animated discussion they decided to write her a round-robin letter and set forth their idea of the situation.

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

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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