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


boil, churn, moil, seethe

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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

Such a shift could be an attempt to avoid a miscommunication that roils markets, but also might create more uncertainty for investors. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed Minutes Signal December Rate Increase Likely, But Less Certain Path Next Year," 29 Nov. 2018 There’s a reason why the NFL was uniquely vulnerable to the emotional riptides currently roiling the country’s politics. Charles P. Pierce,, "Trump Has Made the NFL His Punching Bag. The League’s Best Response Is Defiance," 9 July 2018 But his contentious decisions in the Middle East are roiling a region where U.S. administrations have traditionally sought perhaps their biggest diplomatic prize: an elusive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Josh Lederman And Matthew Lee, Time, "Jerusalem Embassy, Gaza Bloodshed Puts Trump's Mideast Promise at Risk," 14 May 2018 But Iranian concerns about slipping back into isolation as U.S. President Donald Trump’s threatens to withdraw from the nuclear deal, have roiled currency markets over the past two months, with the rial plummeting as demand for dollars soared. Ladane Nasseri,, "Iran Lawmakers Want Central Banker Fired Amid Currency Chaos," 19 Apr. 2018 But uncertainty about the number of foreign tourists has roiled the industry for months. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Are more or fewer tourists coming to the U.S.? Depends which federal agency you ask," 10 Apr. 2018 But months of turmoil in the department’s senior ranks have roiled the second-largest federal bureaucracy, which employs 360,000 people. John Wagner And Josh Dawsey,, "Trump friend says president told him to expect one or two more major personnel changes," 25 Mar. 2018 The roiling air above Keck blurs the details that are already obscured by the gas. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Galaxy mergers hide ravenous supermassive black holes," 14 Nov. 2018 One set of landscapes shows the sublime, such as Joseph Mallord William Turner’s etching of the Scottish Highlands with roiling thunderclouds. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Extreme Nature!’ Review: Horror and Beauty in the World Around Us," 13 Nov. 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

6 Apr 2019

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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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on roil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with roil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for roil

Nglish: Translation of roil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of roil for Arabic Speakers

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 enemy or opponent

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