roller coaster



  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.



[ 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.


  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.

roller coaster


  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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of roller coaster1

First recorded in 1885–90

Origin of roller coaster2

First recorded in 1960–65
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Example Sentences

The process was an “emotional roller coaster with peaks and valleys, built on trust and compassion,” he said.

It then went on a roller coaster as some investors sought to cash out and retail investors were for a time restricted from trading on the Robinhood trading platform.

I had the feeling of my stomach lifting, same as when you descend in a plane or on a roller coaster.

DOOH might just be that silver lining that advertisers, media buying agencies and publishers have been looking for in a roller coaster year.

From Digiday

In Bitcoin, the cycles are maybe a bit more volatile—a bit like riding a roller coaster.

From Fortune

They're made to make a lot of money and to get teenagers in a kind of experience, a roller coaster ride.

His cadence is a steady beat rather than a roller coaster, and his words sparing and simple.

His Wednesday is going to be a roller-coaster ride from Rush Limbaugh to Fox to Laura Ingraham to who knows what.

Some saw their donation as a ticket to a theme park roller coaster ride.

How are you weathering that roller coaster, with each and every year the future so up in the air?

At last news, peon “brakies” on the Nacional had been using it as a roller coaster on the mountain grades going down to Monterey.

They joined them in a series of mad dashes on the roller coaster.

The cost of all the materials for building this roller coaster did not exceed $10.

His wife had told him to stay off the roller coaster, but he had sneered.

Memory of a wild ride on a Coney Island roller coaster streaked through Dave's brain.





roller chainRoller Derby