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 In the 1950s, Phillips describes a silence falling on creative mothers, as the steamroller drive for domestic conformity threatened to crush their artistic ambitions. Joanna Scutts, The New Republic, 20 June 2022 Overall, Pennsylvania voters seemed attracted this cycle to politicians with a pugilistic approach to politics, choosing not only the confrontational Mr. Mastriano on the right, but progressive steamroller John Fetterman on the left. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, 19 May 2022 Bianca Andreescu’s first Italian Open had just come to an understandable halt in the quarterfinals against Iga Swiatek, a steamroller disguised as a tennis star. New York Times, 13 May 2022 But faced with a higher degree of difficulty, the Sox have gone from steamroller to steamrollee., 27 Sep. 2021 The rest of last year’s Emmys featured results that were nearly but not quite as steamroller-ish, with Watchmen and Succession scooping up most of the trophies in the Limited Series and Drama categories, respectively. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 20 Sep. 2021 Don’t step in front of a steamroller to pick up a dime. Dallas News, 22 Aug. 2021 This undoubtedly cleared the way for a film like Nomadland to succeed; with no Goliaths on the field, this tiny, artsy indie could become a steamroller. Nate Jones, Vulture, 3 May 2021 Stretching its legs through sweeping back road curves, the car’s 14-inch-wide rear tires push like a steamroller. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 24 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yet enterprising brewers kept tinkering with IPAs, seeking ways to steamroller all resistance. Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Aug. 2022 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 See More

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.

First Known Use of steamroller


1863, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1879, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for steamroller

Time Traveler

The first known use of steamroller was in 1863

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Dictionary Entries Near steamroller

steam road


steam room

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Statistics for steamroller

Last Updated

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Steamroller.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for steamroller


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


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