See more synonyms for roulette on
  1. a game of chance played at a table marked off with numbers from 1 to 36, one or two zeros, and several other sections affording the players a variety of betting opportunities, and having in the center a revolving, dishlike device (roulette wheel) into which a small ball is spun to come to rest finally in one of the 37 or 38 compartments, indicating the winning number and its characteristics, as odd or even, red or black, and between 1 and 18 or 19 and 36.
  2. a small wheel, especially one with sharp teeth, mounted in a handle, for making lines of marks, dots, or perforations: engravers' roulettes; a roulette for perforating sheets of postage stamps.
  3. Philately. a row of short cuts, in which no paper is removed, made between individual stamps to permit their ready separation.
verb (used with object), rou·let·ted, rou·let·ting.
  1. to mark, impress, or perforate with a roulette.

Origin of roulette

1725–35; < French, diminutive of rouelle wheel. See rowel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for roulette

poker, roulette, bridge, lottery, bingo, canasta, gin, lotto, pinochle, twenty-one

Examples from the Web for roulette

Contemporary Examples of roulette

Historical Examples of roulette

  • That was the kind of roulette wheel a man might really take an interest in!

    Peak and Prairie

    Anna Fuller

  • In the casino a crowd is gathering round the roulette wheel.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • And did the old Romans really play at roulette, and was that one of their tables?


    Charles Godfrey Leland

  • There was also a roulette wheel, which didn't hurt the looks of the place either.

    Sonnie-Boy's People

    James B. Connolly

  • The best thing he did of that kind was the roulette story at Paris.

    The Young Duke

    Benjamin Disraeli

British Dictionary definitions for roulette


  1. a gambling game in which a ball is dropped onto a spinning horizontal wheel divided into 37 or 38 coloured and numbered slots, with players betting on the slot into which the ball will fall
    1. a toothed wheel for making a line of perforations
    2. a tiny slit made by such a wheel on a sheet of stamps as an aid to tearing it apart
  2. a curve generated by a point on one curve rolling on another
verb (tr)
  1. to use a roulette on (something), as in engraving, making stationery, etc

Word Origin for roulette

C18: from French, from rouelle a little wheel, from roue a wheel, from Latin rota
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 roulette

1734, "small wheel," from French roulette "gambling game played with a revolving wheel," literally "small wheel," from Old French roelete "little wheel" (12c.), formed on model of Late Latin rotella, diminutive of Latin rota "wheel" (see rotary). The game of chance so-called from 1745.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper