: 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 Chanel’s absence on screen is partly down to the fact that very little footage of her exists aside from a couple of interviews from the 1950s and some 1930s B-roll. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 14 Sep. 2023 Too often, newspaper photography and morning news–show B-roll pair extreme heat stories with images of beach volleyball players and magnificent sunsets. Eleanor Cummins, The New Republic, 3 Aug. 2023 The production may have just used shots in Pittsburgh for supplemental footage, or B-roll, throughout the film. Olivia Evans, Women's Health, 31 July 2023 The video also includes B-roll of a young and old couple. Cydney Lee, Billboard, 24 July 2023 The pauses between people talking seemed to go on for minutes, with B-roll footage of crowds and construction and music filling the silences. Matt B. Weir, Harper's Magazine, 11 Jan. 2022 My life is someone’s B-roll, played in the wrap-up section: I have been adopted and am living a normal, happy childhood, unaware of my mysterious and troubling origins. Hazlitt, 7 June 2023 The latter was built from unused B-roll footage, say the filmmakers, part of a sequence in which the Spot learns of his universe-hopping abilities that was added relatively late in the production. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 5 June 2023 Is there any more to Zach than what meets the eye, or rather, the dramatic B-roll footage of him being pensive? Olivia Evans, Women's Health, 13 Mar. 2023 See More

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 2 Oct. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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