play Russian roulette

[ (rooh-let) ]

To gamble foolishly on a risky or potentially ruinous business. The expression refers to a deadly game in which a participant loads a revolver with one bullet, spins the cylinder, and fires at his own head: “If you drink and drive, you're playing Russian roulette with your life and the lives of others.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.