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See more synonyms for roil on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to render (water, wine, etc.) turbid by stirring up sediment.
  2. to disturb or disquiet; irritate; vex: to be roiled by a delay.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to move or proceed turbulently.
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Origin of roil

First recorded in 1580–90; origin uncertain
Related formsun·roiled, adjective
Can be confusedroil royal


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for roiled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • When we got up to the place where they had been there were the little swirls in the roiled water.

  • The Chinaman roiled the piece of bamboo in his hands and that, too, disappeared.

  • The contents of its tube were roiled to the height of the mark which was lettered "Tornado."

  • With a rapid movement, she roiled up the paper and held it out to him.

    The Mystics

    Katherine Cecil Thurston

  • "Yes, she does," said Craig with a complacence that roiled Arkwright.

British Dictionary definitions for roiled


  1. (tr) to make (a liquid) cloudy or turbid by stirring up dregs or sediment
  2. (intr) (esp of a liquid) to be agitated or disturbed
  3. (intr) dialect to be noisy or boisterous
  4. (tr) another word (now rare) for rile (def. 1)
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Word Origin

C16: of unknown origin; compare rile
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

Word Origin and History for roiled



1580s, of uncertain origin, probably from Middle French rouiller "to rust, make muddy," from Old French roil "mud, muck, rust" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *robicula, from Latin robigo "rust" (see robust). An earlier borrowing of the French verb is Middle English roil "to roam or rove about" (early 14c.). Related: Roiled; roiling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper