ˈrȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce roil (audio)
 transitive sense 2 is also  ˈrī(-ə)l
roiled; roiling; roils

transitive verb

: to make turbid by stirring up the sediment or dregs of
: to stir up : disturb, disorder

intransitive verb

: to move turbulently : be in a state of turbulence or agitation
conflicting emotions roiling inside her

Example Sentences

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 Wisconsin shows how that shift continues to roil politics. David Lautersenior Editor, Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2023 The dramatic financial and artistic moves show the extent to which the pandemic and its aftermath continue to roil the Met, the premier opera company in the United States, and come as many other performing arts institutions face similar pressures. Javier C. Hernández, New York Times, 26 Dec. 2022 Like most mREITs, Annaly saw its book value drop 13% during the quarter, resulting in a negative economic return of 9.6% as spreads widened, and interest rate volatility continued to roil operations. Moneyshow, Forbes, 18 Aug. 2022 And that itself is going to not just roil political debates this holiday season, but also some health debates. NBC News, 28 Nov. 2021 Eliminating private policing could potentially roil the city. Jeremy Kohler, ProPublica, 19 Dec. 2022 The risk of settling on a lower price is that Russia could retaliate by slashing its output, which would roil markets. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 2 Dec. 2022 Stalemates on that legislation could trigger a government shutdown or default on federal debt that would roil financial markets and damage an economy that already is expected to be teetering on the edge of recession next year. Jim Puzzanghera,, 26 Nov. 2022 But is there a connection between the helioseismic waves that roil the Sun's surface and the corona above it? Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 29 Oct. 2016 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'roil.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of roil was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near roil

Cite this Entry

“Roil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


ˈrȯi(ə)l How to pronounce roil (audio)
 sense 2 is also  ˈrī(ə)l
: to make cloudy or muddy by stirring up
roil the water of a brook
: to rouse the anger of

More from Merriam-Webster on roil

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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