Russian roulette


Definition of Russian roulette

1 : 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
2 : something resembling Russian roulette in its potential for disaster taking cocaine is playing Russian roulette— Jonathan Nicholas

First Known Use of Russian roulette

1937, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of Russian roulette was in 1937

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Cite this Entry

“Russian roulette.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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Russian roulette


English Language Learners Definition of Russian roulette

: a dangerous game in which people fire a gun with a single bullet at their heads without knowing if the bullet will be shot or not

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