\ˈrȯi(-ə)l, sense vt 2 is also ˈrī(-ə)l\
roiled; roiling; roils

Definition of roil 

transitive verb

1a : to make turbid by stirring up the sediment or dregs of

b : to stir up : disturb, disorder

intransitive verb

: to move turbulently : be in a state of turbulence or agitation conflicting emotions roiling inside her

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Examples of roil in a Sentence

Financial markets have been roiled by the banking crisis. the waters of the gulf tossed and roiled as the hurricane surged toward the shore

Recent Examples on the Web

With a property as iconic as the Mount Nelson, in a country as roiling with energy as South Africa, the history is the thing. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, "How Cape Town’s Grandest Hotel Celebrated the 100 Year Anniversary of the End of World War I," 11 Nov. 2018 Consider: First, almost all major stock markets have fallen as much or more than the U.S., in dollar terms, as Italian politics roiled Europe, trade concerns hung over China, and indebted emerging markets continued to suffer from the strong dollar. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Tech Malaise or Something Much Worse: How to Read the Markets," 30 Oct. 2018 As the crisis roiled, concerns were raised nationwide about the safety of America’s drinking water. Georeen Tanner, Fox News, "Lead may be making Newark’s water poisonous," 17 Aug. 2018 Most of the Groups have moderators, whereas Twitter is very much more this kind of roiling crowd that’s always angry about something. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Data for Democracy policy head Renée DiResta answers disinformation questions on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 14 July 2018 Years of restoration have been lost, and debates are now roiling about whether the edifice — which had been scheduled to reopen by next year — should be rebuilt at all. Sam Lubell, New York Times, "A Glasgow Architect’s Masterpiece Is Damaged, but Not His Magic," 2 July 2018 The King Lear phase of Plummer's career has been colorfully crowded with aged men too roiled by appetite to resemble any standard portraits of the elderly. Jake Coyle, azcentral, "Christopher Plummer may play a weed dealer, but he's no pothead in real life," 26 June 2018 The sky was a deep, dusty blue, roiled by swiftly moving clouds. Jody Rosen, Smithsonian, "This Secret Corner of California Is a Paradise for Lovers of Great Food and Top-Notch Wines," 14 June 2018 Not that the dudebros of the Internet need such a reason to lob insults at a woman broadcaster; simply speaking in a woman’s voice is enough to roil the trolls. Shannon Kelley, Vogue, "Aly Wagner Is the First-Ever Woman Announcing the World Cup for the U.S. Broadcast, And She’s Killing It," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'roil.' 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 roil

1590, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for roil

origin unknown

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Dictionary Entries near roil



roi fainéant





Statistics for roil

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for roil

The first known use of roil was in 1590

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English Language Learners Definition of roil

: to upset (someone or something) very much : to cause (someone or something) to become very agitated or disturbed

: to move in a violent and confused way

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Comments on roil

What made you want to look up roil? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an inexhaustible supply or amount

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