: recorded video of subjects or locations used to provide supplementary material for a film or television show
Zenovich casts video footage of Williams's manic stage persona, including plenty of B-roll from his various TV and film projects, against found audio interviews that reveal the comedian's quieter side.Julia Felsenthal
Goodman and Jacobson are both trained photographers, and often find themselves shooting the produce with one of Butters's two new digital cameras, one for still photography and one for B-roll, in the likely event that she decides to do a television show or a series of how-to DVDs.Dana Goodyear

Examples of B-roll in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Haqqani video editors then splice the bloody footage with B-roll snatched from satellite channels and YouTube. Michael Semple, Foreign Affairs, 23 Sep. 2011 Even with a social media manager, the pressures of content creation clutter valuable brain space and twist every event into an opportunity for filming B-roll. Celia Ford, Vox, 5 June 2024 And not for nothing, Couples Therapy’s B-roll footage is some of the best portraiture of New York City ever put on TV. Savannah Salazar, Vulture, 31 May 2024 The film features ample B-roll from Willis’ homecoming visits in her later years, which included honors from the likes of the Motown Museum and Detroit Music Awards. Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press, 7 Apr. 2024 Videos and other content made by the visitors have come to serve as a kind of B-roll footage accompanying conversations about immigration on Fox News, Tucker Carlson’s online show and even for Mr. Trump himself. Ken Bensinger Federico Rios, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2024 Having stayed in character as the avant-garde comedian throughout the entirety of the shoot, Universal Pictures effectively buried the behind the scenes B-roll for the actor's own benefit. Kevin Jacobsen and Diedre Johnson, EW.com, 20 Sep. 2023 Along the way, the caucuses have delivered a great deal of political B-roll: farmers in coveralls analyzing trade policy! Robert Samuels, The New Yorker, 10 Jan. 2024 Dougie suggests Asher give money to Nala, a little girl selling sodas in a parking lot, likely as a bit of B-roll footage to reinforce the idea of the Seigels as generous, pure of heart people. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 10 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'B-roll.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


originally in opposition to an A-roll in film and video editing that contained the principal footage

First Known Use

1983, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of B-roll was in 1983

Dictionary Entries Near B-roll

Cite this Entry

“B-roll.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/B-roll. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

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