rock and roll

\ ˌrä-kən-ˈrōl How to pronounce rock and roll (audio) \
variants: or

Definition of rock and roll

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: popular music usually played on electronically amplified instruments and characterized by a persistent heavily accented beat, repetition of simple phrases, and often country, folk, and blues elements : rock entry 2 sense 2 If many older people had been suspicious of the jukebox in the early fifties, they were even more affronted by the success of rock and roll after 1954.— Dominic Sandbrook The industry has changed. Is it no longer sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll?AP News often used before another nounrock and roll legends/albums… Jack is in his corset, Jane is in her vest. And me, I'm in a rock 'n' roll band …The Velvet Underground

rock and roll

rocked and rolled; rocking and rolling; rock and rolls

Definition of rock and roll (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to perform or dance to rock and roll music Mark headed off to Liverpool over the weekend, where he did a little rocking and rolling.— Paula Zahn
2 informal : to start out or get going energetically He was wide awake and ready to rock and roll at 5:00 A.M.— Gideon Wulff … an overwhelming majority of the U.S. population has a primal desire to unfold a badass pair of shades, slide them onto their head… throw a jacket over their shoulder, and utter, "let's rock and roll."The Onion

Examples of rock and roll in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Van Halen's wildly inventive innovations, including tapping, or the act of playing the guitar using both left and right hands on the neck, redefined what musicians could do with the instrument—and what rock and roll music could sound like. Eddie Van Halen, Popular Mechanics, "How the Late Rock God Eddie Van Halen Hacked His Guitar," 6 Oct. 2020 Eddie and his older brother Alex were trained in classical piano, but, like many teen-agers in southern California in the early nineteen-seventies, they were utterly seduced by rock and roll. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Eddie Van Halen’s Otherworldly Sounds," 7 Oct. 2020 England’s status in the history of rock and roll and punk music is almost mythical. Tori Latham, The Atlantic, "The Books Briefing: British Invasion," 1 Oct. 2020 The all-time classic movie about rock and roll has to be Cameron Crowe’s paean to 1970s bands, Almost Famous, which hit its 20th anniversary over the weekend. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Move over, Intel. Nvidia’s the best chipmaker now," 14 Sep. 2020 His style mixed traditional country, gospel, blues, and rock and roll—a raucous, heavy mélange that critics tended to label either alt-country or Americana, depending on the decade. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Tragic Charisma of Justin Townes Earle," 24 Aug. 2020 But even on his own, Springsteen is one of the 20 biggest and best rock and roll artists of all time. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "The best and worst Rock Hall inductees, every year since 1986," 18 Aug. 2020 Hundreds of vintage posters for sale Want a piece of rock and roll history? Editors, USA TODAY, "Hawaii contact tracing, Lake Fire, NBA regular season: 5 things to know Friday," 14 Aug. 2020 Rosie and the Rivets, a retro rock and roll band, will perform from 7-8:30 p.m. Sunday at Westglen Commons, 467 Westglen Dr., as part of the Concerts in Your Park concert series. Michelle Mullins,, "This Week in Naperville," 14 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rock and roll.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rock and roll


1954, in the meaning defined above


1956, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for rock and roll

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The first known use of rock and roll was in 1954

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Statistics for rock and roll

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rock and roll.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for rock and roll

rock and roll

How to pronounce rock and roll (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rock and roll

: rock music

rock and roll

variants: or rock ‘n’ roll

Kids Definition of rock and roll

More from Merriam-Webster on rock and roll

Nglish: Translation of rock and roll for Spanish Speakers

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