\ 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

Underwriting revenue fell 25%, in line with declines across Wall Street as corporate executives delayed issuances in the face of roiling markets. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Morgan Stanley Earnings Fall Short as Trading Hampers Results," 17 Jan. 2019 The tariffs that the United States and China slapped on each other’s exports Friday intensified a trade battle that has a strong risk of roiling financial markets, chilling consumer confidence and seriously harming the global economy. Don Lee,, "U.S. and China slap big tariffs on each other, escalating trade fight," 6 July 2018 The work is a massive embodiment of roiling gestural energy. Julia Couzens, sacbee, "A witty and deep showcase of Jewish artists' contributions to California art history | The Sacramento Bee," 6 Apr. 2018 The region continues to be roiled by violence; for instance, six people were killed in separate instances on September 27. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 The question of whether contract workers should be treated as employees has roiled Silicon Valley for years. Greg Bensinger, WSJ, "Canadian Court Slams Uber’s Arbitration Process," 2 Jan. 2019 That’s a debate currently roiling Washington, with many left- and right-leaning figures stating the decision will only boost Iran and help ISIS, while others say US troops did nothing in the country’s civil war anyway. Alex Ward, Vox, "No one knows what’s happening with Trump’s Syria decision," 20 Dec. 2018 Debate roils in small Kansas town over decades-old half-car gag No joke: After nearly 30 years, Edgerton's funny half-car must go, city council says Tiny JoCo town is booming. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Half-car fans rally to save Kansas town's gag landmark, suggest moving it to museum | The Kansas City Star," 27 Apr. 2018 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

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

18 May 2019

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Time Traveler for roil

The first known use of roil was in 1590

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More Definitions for roil



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).


a strong desire or propensity

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