Origin of steamroller

First recorded in 1865–70; steam + roller1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for steamroller

Contemporary Examples of steamroller

  • The Donald Trump steamroller got run off the road last week, and getting back on track may not be easy.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Trump Backlash Begins

    Howard Kurtz

    May 6, 2011

  • His hard lines and angles project the arrogance of a confidence man, or as Arlyn Imberman puts it, “a steamroller.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    Bernie's John Hancock

    Allan Dodds Frank

    March 25, 2009

Historical Examples of steamroller

  • It was like getting a steamroller in motion to start Hickman.

    Pitching in a Pinch

    Christy Mathewson

British Dictionary definitions for steamroller


steam roller


  1. a steam-powered vehicle with heavy rollers at the front and rear used for compressing road surfaces during road-making
  2. another word for roadroller
  1. an overpowering force or a person with such force that overcomes all opposition
  2. (as modifier)steamroller tactics


(tr) to crush (opposition, etc) by overpowering force
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