Russian roulette


: an act of bravado consisting of spinning the cylinder of a revolver loaded with one cartridge, pointing the muzzle at one's own head, and pulling the trigger
: something resembling Russian roulette in its potential for disaster
taking cocaine is playing Russian rouletteJonathan Nicholas

Examples of Russian roulette in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Last Updated: Live Coverage Feed 15 hours ago Hostage’s Mother Describes Painful Wait for News The mother of a French-Israeli woman who remains in captivity in Gaza said waiting every day to see if her daughter is on a list of hostages set to be freed was like playing Russian roulette. Anat Peled, WSJ, 27 Nov. 2023 So when the holidays roll around, that office Secret Santa feels like playing Russian roulette with reputations. Cristian Esteban, Rolling Stone, 31 Oct. 2023 Luckily, or perhaps not-so-luckily, a secret Russian roulette ring desperately needs their services. Marta Balaga, Variety, 22 Sep. 2023 Experts say being an addict these days is like playing Russian roulette, with illicit fentanyl the bullet in the chamber. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, 17 Sep. 2023 Read more Just for subscribers: ''Like a Russian roulette'': US military firefighters grapple with unknowns of PFAS exposure. USA TODAY, 4 Sep. 2023 Inconsistent potency makes doing fentanyl—already up to 50 times stronger than heroine—like playing a game of Russian roulette. Longreads, 11 Aug. 2023 The lack of jobs and opportunities elsewhere forces people to continue risking their lives farming vegetables and scrounging for other sources of income at the foot of the volcano, Nunez said, comparing the choice to Russian roulette. Jim Gomez, Anchorage Daily News, 20 June 2023 Another brother, Thomas Hennen Carter, killed himself playing Russian roulette. Arkansas Online, 12 May 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1937, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Russian roulette was in 1937

Dictionary Entries Near Russian roulette

Cite this Entry

“Russian roulette.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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