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 steamroll (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

Are the 2019 Red Sox destined to be remembered as a team with extraordinary talent that, one year after emerging as one of the most unstoppable steamrollers in modern baseball history, instead sputtered its way through a year of constant reversals? Alex Speier,, "Time is running out on the Red Sox, and they know it," 2 Aug. 2019 With the global markets on edge after Chair Powell’s communication failed so miserably, few traders have been willing to step in front of this steamroller. Washington Post, "Asian stocks plunge on US-China trade war worries," 1 Aug. 2019 Wednesday night at Chase Field, the steamroller was paired with a quality start from right-hander Jon Gray as the Rockies beat the Diamondbacks 6-4. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies’ steamroller offense beats D-backs behind quality start from Jon Gray," 19 June 2019 Further Reading As the SpaceX steamroller surges, European rocket industry vows to resist So far, Arianespace has launched 10 rockets this year: six Ariane 5 boosters, two Vega rockets, and two Soyuz medium-lift rockets. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Tuesday may deliver a triple-header of big launches to cap 2018," 17 Dec. 2018 Or the Buffalo-Springfield Roller Company steamroller parked outside Friedman’s place. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "8 Lesser-Known Buffalo Springfield Gems Worth Rediscovering," 30 May 2018 Nonetheless, a sign that this is not 2017, when the Warriors drove a stone-cold 16-1 steamroller through the playoffs. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Invincible no more, Warriors face rocky path back to NBA Finals," 12 Apr. 2018 Nonetheless, a sign that this is not 2017, when the Warriors drove a stone-cold 16-1 steamroller through the playoffs. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Invincible no more, Warriors face rocky path back to NBA Finals," 12 Apr. 2018 Nonetheless, a sign that this is not 2017, when the Warriors drove a stone-cold 16-1 steamroller through the playoffs. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Invincible no more, Warriors face rocky path back to NBA Finals," 12 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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, "Hotline newsletter: NBA Draft results in six Pac-12 players selected and six early-entries shunned," 21 June 2019 With that call and photograph as the launchpoints, the NCAA steamrollered USC. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "As the NCAA readies its case, Arizona should brace for the worst (just ask USC)," 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., "Gareth Southgate Admits He 'Didn't Like' England Performance Despite Record Win Over Panama," 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, "There are real, and difficult, biological reasons why it’s hard to lose weight," 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., "VIDEO: Roma Star Impressed By Anfield as He Greets Former Teammate Mohamed Salah Before UCL Clash," 25 Apr. 2018 Fear of being steamrollered by the Franco-German engine, now cranking into gear again, sits in the DNA of Dutch diplomats. The Economist, "How the Dutch will take Britain’s place in Europe," 28 Mar. 2018 City, who continued their fine form after dispatching Everton on Saturday night, reached the Champions League quarter-finals by defeating Basel in their Champions League round of 16 clash in February, whilst Liverpool steamrollered Porto., "Pep Guardiola Praises 'Almost Unstoppable' Liverpool As He Identifies Surprise Reds Threat," 2 Apr. 2018 But the ease with which Mr. Sisi has steamrollered Egypt’s fractured opposition is a product of even harsher repression. Declan Walsh And Nour Youssef, New York Times, "For as Little as $3 a Vote, Egyptians Trudge to Election Stations," 27 Mar. 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.

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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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Statistics for steamroller

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for steamroller

The first known use of steamroller was in 1863

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with steamroller

Spanish Central: Translation of steamroller

Nglish: Translation of steamroller for Spanish Speakers

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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