When something moves by rotating or spinning, it rolls. If your dog is smart enough, you can train her to roll a ball back to you after you roll it to her.

You can roll down a hill, or roll up a rug. You can also roll out dough for a pie — by flattening it with a rolling pin — or roll up a car window, which once required turning a handle, but today usually involves pushing a button. You can roll dice, or toss them on a table, and tears can roll, or drip, down your cheeks. As a noun, a roll can be an individual loaf of bread, a list of names, or a cylinder.

Definitions of roll
  1. verb
    move by turning over or rotating
    “The child rolled down the hill”
    synonyms: turn over
    revolve, trundle
    cause to move by turning over or in a circular manner of as if on an axis
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    roll around the rim of
    type of:
    change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense
  2. verb
    move along on or as if on wheels or a wheeled vehicle
    “The President's convoy rolled past the crowds”
    synonyms: trundle, wheel
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    roll (a ball)
    cause to move round and round
    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  3. verb
    cause to move by turning over or in a circular manner of as if on an axis
    “She rolled the ball”
    “They rolled their eyes at his words”
    synonyms: revolve, trundle
    turn over
    move by turning over or rotating
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    revolve (the telescope of a surveying transit) about its horizontal transverse axis in order to reverse its direction
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  4. verb
    arrange or or coil around
    roll your hair around your finger”
    synonyms: twine, wind, wrap
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    unroll, unwind, wind off
    reverse the winding or twisting of
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    wind onto a spool or a reel
    wind onto or off a reel
    form into a ball by winding or rolling
    clew, clue
    roll into a ball
    coil, curl, loop
    wind around something in coils or loops
    wind onto a cheese
    reel off, unreel
    unwind from or as if from a reel
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  5. verb
    shape by rolling
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    type of:
    form, shape
    give shape or form to
  6. verb
    take the shape of a roll or cylinder
    “the carpet rolled out”
    “Yarn rolls well”
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    type of:
    change form, change shape, deform
    assume a different shape or form
  7. verb
    show certain properties when being rolled
    “The carpet rolls unevenly”
    synonyms: roll up
    roll up, wrap up
    form a cylinder by rolling
    furl, roll up
    form into a cylinder by rolling
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    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  8. verb
    flatten or spread with a roller
    roll out the paper”
    synonyms: roll out
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    roll steel ingots
    roll out (metal) with a rolling machine
    type of:
    make flat or flatter
  9. verb
    move in a wavy pattern or with a rising and falling motion
    “the waves rolled towards the beach”
    synonyms: flap, undulate, wave
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    flap when the wind is blowing equally on both sides
    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  10. verb
    occur in soft rounded shapes
    “The hills rolled past”
    synonyms: undulate
  11. verb
    begin operating or running
    “The cameras were rolling
    “The presses are already rolling
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    type of:
    function, go, operate, run, work
    perform as expected when applied
  12. verb
    execute a roll, in tumbling
    “The gymnasts rolled and jumped”
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    type of:
    do gymnastics, roll and turn skillfully
  13. verb
    move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment
    “They rolled from town to town”
    synonyms: cast, drift, ramble, range, roam, rove, stray, swan, tramp, vagabond, wander
    drift, err, stray
    wander from a direct course or at random
    go via an indirect route or at no set pace
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    wander aimlessly
    gad, gallivant, jazz around
    wander aimlessly in search of pleasure
    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  14. verb
    move, rock, or sway from side to side
    “The ship rolled on the heavy seas”
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    type of:
    rock, shake, sway
    move back and forth or sideways
  15. verb
    boil vigorously
    “The water rolled
    synonyms: seethe
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    type of:
    boil, churn, moil, roil
    be agitated
  16. verb
    sell something to or obtain something from by energetic and especially underhanded activity
    synonyms: hustle, pluck
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    type of:
    take without the owner's consent
  17. noun
    rotary motion of an object around its own axis
    synonyms: axial motion, axial rotation
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    an indolent or clumsy rolling about
    type of:
    gyration, revolution, rotation
    a single complete turn (axial or orbital)
  18. noun
    anything rolled up in cylindrical form
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    a roll of cloth or wallpaper of a definite length
    a roll of coins wrapped in paper
    a roll of ribbon
    type of:
    a solid bounded by a cylindrical surface and two parallel planes (the bases)
  19. noun
    photographic film rolled up inside a container to protect it from light
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    type of:
    film, photographic film
    photographic material consisting of a base of celluloid covered with a photographic emulsion; used to make negatives or transparencies
  20. noun
    a document that can be rolled up (as for storage)
    synonyms: scroll
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    Dead Sea scrolls
    (Old Testament) a collection of written scrolls (containing nearly all of the Old Testament) found in a cave near the Dead Sea in the late 1940s
    (Judaism) the scroll of parchment that contains the biblical story of Esther; traditionally read in synagogues to celebrate Purim
    (Judaism) the scroll of parchment on which the first five books of the Hebrew Scripture is written; is used in a synagogue during services
    type of:
    holograph, manuscript
    handwritten book or document
  21. noun
    a roll of currency notes (often taken as the resources of a person or business etc.)
    “he shot his roll on a bob-tailed nag”
    synonyms: bankroll
  22. noun
    a list of names
    “his name was struck off the rolls
    synonyms: roster
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    batting order, card, lineup
    (baseball) a list of batters in the order in which they will bat
    a list of persons killed in a war or other disaster
    muster roll
    a list of names of officers and men in a military unit or ship's company
    church roll
    a list of the members of church
    a roster of names showing the order in which people should perform certain duties
    waiting list
    a roster of those waiting to obtain something
    type of:
    list, listing
    a database containing an ordered array of items (names or topics)
  23. noun
    a long heavy sea wave as it advances towards the shore
    synonyms: roller, rolling wave
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    type of:
    moving ridge, wave
    one of a series of ridges that moves across the surface of a liquid (especially across a large body of water)
  24. noun
    a round shape formed by a series of concentric circles (as formed by leaves or flower petals)
    synonyms: coil, curl, curlicue, gyre, ringlet, scroll, whorl
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    (botany) the whorl of petals of a flower that collectively form an inner floral envelope or layer of the perianth
    (botany) the whorl of sepals of a flower collectively forming the outer floral envelope or layer of the perianth enclosing and supporting the developing bud; usually green
    a whorl of leaves growing around a stem
    persistent enlarged calyx at base of e.g. a strawberry or raspberry
    calyx composed of scales or bristles or featherlike hairs in plants of the Compositae such as thistles and dandelions
    type of:
    round shape
    a shape that is curved and without sharp angles
  25. noun
    walking with a swaying gait
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    type of:
    a person's manner of walking
  26. noun
    a flight maneuver; aircraft rotates about its longitudinal axis without changing direction or losing altitude
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    barrel roll
    a roll in which the plane follows a spiral course
    snap roll
    a fast roll
    type of:
    airplane maneuver, flight maneuver
    a maneuver executed by an aircraft
  27. noun
    the act of rolling something (as the ball in bowling)
    synonyms: bowl
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    type of:
    actuation, propulsion
    the act of propelling
  28. noun
    the act of throwing dice
    synonyms: cast
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    (craps) a first roll of 7 or 11 that immediately wins the stake
    type of:
    casting an object in order to determine an outcome randomly
  29. noun
    small rounded bread either plain or sweet
    synonyms: bun
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    tea bread
    sweetened buns to be eaten with tea
    frankfurter bun, hotdog bun
    a long bun shaped to hold a frankfurter
    hamburger bun, hamburger roll
    a round bun shaped to hold a hamburger patty
    a light roll rich with eggs and butter and somewhat sweet
    crescent roll, croissant
    very rich flaky crescent-shaped roll
    Vienna roll, hard roll
    yeast-raised roll with a hard crust
    soft roll
    yeast-raised roll with a soft crust
    kaiser, kaiser roll
    rounded raised poppy-seed roll made of a square piece of dough by folding the corners in to the center
    Parker House roll
    yeast-raised dinner roll made by folding a disk of dough before baking
    clover-leaf roll
    yeast-raised dinner roll made by baking three small balls of dough in each cup of a muffin pan
    onion roll
    yeast-raised roll flavored with onion
    coffee roll, sweet roll
    any of numerous yeast-raised sweet rolls with our without raisins or nuts or spices or a glaze
    bagel, beigel
    (Yiddish) glazed yeast-raised doughnut-shaped roll with hard crust
    cross bun, hot cross bun
    moderately sweet raised roll containing spices and raisins and citron and decorated with a cross-shaped sugar glaze
    bialy, bialystoker
    flat crusty-bottomed onion roll
    bear claw, bear paw
    almond-flavored yeast-raised pastry shaped in an irregular semicircle resembling a bear's claw
    cinnamon bun, cinnamon roll, cinnamon snail
    rolled dough spread with cinnamon and sugar (and raisins) then sliced before baking
    caramel bun, honey bun, schnecken, sticky bun
    rolled dough spread with sugar and nuts then sliced and baked in muffin tins with honey or sugar and butter in the bottom
    pinwheel roll
    pinwheel-shaped rolls spread with cinnamon and sugar and filled with e.g. jam before baking
    danish, danish pastry
    light sweet yeast-raised roll usually filled with fruits or cheese
    onion bagel
    bagel flavored with onion
    type of:
    bread, breadstuff, staff of life
    food made from dough of flour or meal and usually raised with yeast or baking powder and then baked
  30. verb
    emit, produce, or utter with a deep prolonged reverberating sound
    “The thunder rolled
    rolling drums”
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    type of:
    go, sound
    make a certain noise or sound
  31. verb
    pronounce with a roll, of the phoneme /r/
    “She rolls her r's”
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    type of:
    articulate, enounce, enunciate, pronounce, say, sound out
    speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way
  32. noun
    a deep prolonged sound (as of thunder or large bells)
    synonyms: peal, pealing, rolling
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    type of:
    the sudden occurrence of an audible event
  33. noun
    the sound of a drum (especially a snare drum) beaten rapidly and continuously
    synonyms: drum roll, paradiddle
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    type of:
    the sudden occurrence of an audible event
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