[rawl-fing, rol-]


a type of massage therapy involving sometimes intensive manipulation of the fascia of the muscles and internal organs to relieve physical and emotional tension, improve posture, increase vitality, etc.



verb (used without object) Slang.

to vomit.

Origin of rolf

1970–75, Americanism; apparently variant of ralph


[rawlf, rolf]

verb (used with object)

to massage using the techniques of Rolfing.

Origin of Rolf

1965–70; after Ida P. Rolf (1897–1979), U.S. physiotherapist who invented the techniques
Related formsRolf·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for rolfing


Rolf the Ganger


other names for Rollo
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 rolfing


masc. proper name, introduced in England by the Normans, from Old Norse Hrolfr, related to Old High German Hrodulf, literally "wolf of fame" (see Rudolph). Rolfing (1972) as a deep massage technique is named for U.S. physiotherapist Ida P. Rolf (1897-1979), and first attested 1958, as Rolf Technique.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for rolfing



A service mark used for a technique of deep muscular manipulation and massage for the relief of bodily and emotional tension.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.