roller-coaster

[roh-ler-koh-ster, roh-li-]
verb (used without object)
  1. to go up and down like a roller coaster; rise and fall: a narrow road roller-coastering around the mountain; a light boat roller-coastering over the waves.
  2. to experience a period of prosperity, happiness, security, or the like, followed by a contrasting period of economic depression, despair, or the like: The economy was roller-coastering throughout most of the decade.
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a roller coaster.
  2. resembling the progress of a ride on a roller coaster in sudden extreme changeableness.

Origin of roller-coaster

First recorded in 1960–65

roller coaster

noun
  1. a small gravity railroad, especially in an amusement park, having a train with open cars that moves along a high, sharply winding trestle built with steep inclines that produce sudden, speedy plunges for thrill-seeking passengers.
  2. a car or train of cars for such a railroad.
  3. any phenomenon, period, or experience of persistent or violent ups and downs, as one fluctuating between prosperity and recession or elation and despair.

Origin of roller coaster

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for roller-coaster

Contemporary Examples of roller-coaster

Historical Examples of roller-coaster

  • I never closed my eyes all night, not with this roller-coaster sliding down one mountain and up another.

    Behind the Green Door

    Mildred A. Wirt


British Dictionary definitions for roller-coaster

roller coaster

noun
  1. another term for big dipper
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