• synonyms


noun trademark
  1. Also called (informal): Rolls a make of very high-quality, luxurious, and prestigious British car. The Rolls-Royce company is no longer British-owned
  2. anything considered to be the very best of its kind
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Word Origin

named after its designers, Charles Stewart Rolls (1877–1910), English pioneer motorist and aviator, and Sir (Frederick) Henry Royce (1863–1933), English engineer, who founded the Rolls-Royce Company (1906)
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

Examples from the Web for rolls-royce

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "It's Broadfoot's—Rolls-Royce, six cylinder," he replied promptly.

  • He looks like a tailor's model, and acts like a Rolls-Royce.

    The Gold Girl

    James B. Hendryx

  • A fellow with a Rolls-Royce has a better chance than a man with a Ford.

    John Brown

    Captain R. W. Campbell

  • As a result no American-built Rolls-Royce engine was ever made.

  • The Rolls-Royce gave a faintly stertorous sigh and began to move.

    Mortal Coils

    Aldous Huxley

Word Origin and History for rolls-royce



registered 1908 as trademark, named for designers C.S. Rolls (1877-1910) and Sir Henry Royce (1863-1933). Figurative use from 1916 for any product deemed to be of high quality. Shortened form Rolls first attested 1928.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper