steam·​roll·​er | \ ˈstēm-ˌrō-lər How to pronounce steamroller (audio) \

Definition of steamroller

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a steam-driven road roller broadly : road roller
2 : a crushing force especially when ruthlessly applied to overcome opposition


steam·​roll·​er | \ ˈstēm-ˌrō-lər How to pronounce steamroller (audio) \
variants: or steamroll \ ˈstēm-​ˌrōl How to pronounce steamroller (audio) \
steamrollered or steamrolled; steamrollering or steamrolling; steamrollers or steamrolls

Definition of steamroller (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to overwhelm usually by greatly superior force steamroller the opposition
2 : to bring or advance by overwhelming force or pressure steamrollered the bill through the legislature

intransitive verb

: to move or proceed with irresistible force

Examples of steamroller in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun By the second quarter, Maryland flipped the ignition on its steamroller. Katherine Fominykh,, 22 Mar. 2021 But guidelines to homogenize healthcare have become a steamroller, presuming that experts always know which treatments are best and that they should be applied uniformly. Sandeep Jauhar, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2021 And yet, when the year ended, the steamroller was still going, giving NFLX a total 2020 add-on count of 37 million subscribers—a new all-time high—that represented a 31% year-over-year gain and pushed that base past that significant milestone. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, 16 Apr. 2021 It’s both the unbeatable steamroller that claims the guild prizes, and the artsy indie that critics love. Nate Jones, Vulture, 26 Mar. 2021 The offense is a steamroller once more, the defense is thriving with backups and practice call-ups, and the special teams are still elite. Jonas Shaffer,, 27 Dec. 2020 The Eagles aren’t quite as imposing as last season’s 25-0 squad that had a 6-foot-7 point guard, Cade Cunningham, behind the wheel of a steamroller that squashed almost every opponent. Buddy Collings,, 18 Dec. 2020 The Trojans performed like a steamroller, picking up momentum on a slanted Lucas Oil Stadium playing surface. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 28 Nov. 2020 Wayzgoose in 2020 looks pretty familiar: Artists carve and ink a block of linoleum, which is pressed onto paper by a 2,600-pound steamroller. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 2 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In positioning country music as, essentially, the music of the white rural working class, Nashville streamlined — make that steamrollered — the genre’s roots, and the ways it has always been engaged in wide-ranging cultural dialogue. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2019 Others feel the tech titan is trying to steamroller residents' wishes. Andrew Selsky, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2020 The East Coast side have won their last seven games, steamrollering opponents and are quarterbacked by the MVP-frontrunner Lamar Jackson. Ben Morse, CNN, 28 Nov. 2019 From September ’17, when the FBI made its arrests, to June ’19, when NBA offered judgment, the conference has been steamrollered by bad news, bad decisions and bad play. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 21 June 2019 With that call and photograph as the launchpoints, the NCAA steamrollered USC. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 13 June 2019 But in between it was a magical display, with Harry Kane scoring three times, John Stones twice and Jesse Lingard once as England steamrollered their inferior opponents., 24 June 2018 As a result, the public is often directed to attractive, shortcut weight-loss options created for the purposes of making money, while scientists and doctors document facts that are steamrollered into the shadows. David Prologo, Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2018 For most of Tuesday's clash, the Belgian's fears were vindicated, as the Reds steamrollered his side, with Salah scoring two sublime goals and creating two others., 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'steamroller.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of steamroller


1863, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1879, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About steamroller

Time Traveler for steamroller

Time Traveler

The first known use of steamroller was in 1863

See more words from the same year

Statistics for steamroller

Last Updated

19 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Steamroller.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for steamroller



English Language Learners Definition of steamroller

: a large, heavy machine that is used for making a road or other surface flat


steam·​roll·​er | \ ˈstēm-ˈrō-lər How to pronounce steamroller (audio) \

Kids Definition of steamroller

: a machine that has wide heavy rollers for pressing down and smoothing roads

More from Merriam-Webster on steamroller

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for steamroller

Nglish: Translation of steamroller for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!