\ ˈrȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce roil (audio) , transitive sense 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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Synonyms for roil


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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 Thursday’s report, the final one for this year, shows that layoffs continue to roil the labor market. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Jobless claims drop to 787K as layoffs remain extremely high to end the year," 31 Dec. 2020 Major New York landlords have been trying to firm up their balance sheets as the pandemic continues to roil the economy, forcing many restaurants and shops to close and leaving offices largely empty. Natalie Wong,, "SL Green to Sell Amazon-Leased NYC Offices for $953 Million," 4 Nov. 2020 The highest tides of 2020 are headed to the Bay Area on Monday, and unsettled weather in the region might roil the waters up even more. John King,, "The year’s highest king tides are headed our way — and the lowest tides, too," 11 Dec. 2020 Peruvian interim President Manuel Merino announced his resignation on Sunday as protests continue to roil the South American country. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Interim Peruvian president steps down amid protests," 15 Nov. 2020 The Trump administration faces a mid-December deadline to name and sanction any banks that have business dealings with officials on the list, a move that could roil U.S.-China relations even further before Biden takes office in January. Nick Wadhams,, "Latest U.S. Sanctions Show Trump Isn’t Finished Hitting China," 9 Nov. 2020 Still, the handling of police misconduct cases continues to roil the city government: On Wednesday, four senior officials at the Civilian Complaint Review Board were laid off abruptly. Ali Watkins, New York Times, "A Watchdog Accused Officers of Serious Misconduct. Few Were Punished.," 15 Nov. 2020 The bishop’s decision to jettison the foundation board continues to roil parts of the 1.3 million-member diocese. Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times, "O.C. bishop sues charity administrator who accused Catholic leader of wrongdoing," 1 Nov. 2020 But Levy – like most of us – never expected such a scenario to roil our lives in the high-tech 21st century. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Tuesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area," 27 Oct. 2020

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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Statistics for roil

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Roil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for roil


How to pronounce roil (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of roil

chiefly US
: 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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