\ 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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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

The problems roiling this alternative Oakland mirror the ones in many of our own cities (encroaching gentrification, rising home prices, people taking to the streets to call out injustices) filtered through director Boots Riley’s surreal vision. Samantha Powell, The Cut, "Sorry to Bother You’s Costume Designer on Dressing Tessa Thompson," 10 July 2018 The abandonment of the Eustis Sand Mine years ago left a gaping scar in Central Florida’s landscape as well as the seeds of the animosity roiling now between an enclave of rural residents and a state water agency. Kevin Spear,, "Florida plan for Lake County sand mine provokes residents' ire," 22 June 2018 The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s summer experience is like an elaborate treehouse that might exist somehow within a giant, roiling ocean wave. Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "Museum’s ‘Big Bambú’ installation invites physical interaction," 8 June 2018 The dispute is expected to ripple through global supply chains, raise costs for businesses and consumers and roil global stock markets. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: EPA chief Scott Pruitt is the seventh cabinet-level person to leave the Trump administration," 6 July 2018 The national outcry has roiled midterm election campaigns, emboldening Democrats while putting Republicans on the defensive. Anchorage Daily News, "New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border — but with parents," 19 June 2018 As economic uncertainty roils the country, the gap between top executives and everyday employees grows ever wider. David Gelles, New York Times, "Want to Make Money Like a C.E.O.? Work for 275 Years," 25 May 2018 The whipsaw changes roiled agriculture markets, and not everyone who makes a living off the land retained the same fealty to Trump as Wacker. Mathew Brown And Matt Volz, The Christian Science Monitor, "Trump trade policies cause deep ripples in agriculture country," 30 Apr. 2018 Trump’s threats to impose tariffs aimed at China have roiled markets. Skyler Swisher,, "After tax cut push in Hialeah, President Trump switches focus to Mar-a-Lago summit," 16 Apr. 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

9 Feb 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

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a servile follower or underling

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