steamroller

One of the large vehicles you might see on a construction site or road crew is a steamroller, which uses a large, heavy cylinder to smooth the surface of a road or other paved area. Be sure to stay out of its way!

Many people use the word steamroller to mean "road roller," although strictly speaking that's incorrect, since these modern vehicles aren't powered by a steam engine. A true steamroller had a smokebox and chimney, and the steam it produced enabled it to move forward as it rolled and compressed the surface below. Used figuratively, steamroller means something or someone that moves forward relentlessly, without regard for anyone who happens to be in its way.

Definitions of steamroller
  1. noun
    vehicle equipped with heavy wide smooth rollers for compacting roads and pavements
    synonyms: road roller
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    type of:
    vehicle
    a conveyance that transports people or objects
  2. noun
    a massive inexorable force that seems to crush everything in its way
    synonyms: juggernaut
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    type of:
    force, power
    one possessing or exercising power or influence or authority
  3. verb
    crush with a steamroller as if to level
    steamroller the road”
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    type of:
    crush, mash, squash, squeeze, squelch
    compress with violence, out of natural shape or condition
  4. verb
    make level or flat with a steamroller
    synonyms: steamroll
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    type of:
    flatten
    make flat or flatter
  5. verb
    bring to a specified state by overwhelming force or pressure
    “The Senator steamrollered the bill to defeat”
    synonyms: steamroll
    steamroll
    overwhelm by using great force
    steamroll
    proceed with great force
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    type of:
    coerce, force, hale, pressure, squeeze
    cause to do through pressure or necessity, by physical, moral or intellectual means
  6. verb
    overwhelm by using great force
    steamroller the opposition”
    synonyms: steamroll
    steamroll
    bring to a specified state by overwhelming force or pressure
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    type of:
    overmaster, overpower, overwhelm
    overcome by superior force
  7. verb
    proceed with great force
    “The new teacher tends to steamroller
    synonyms: steamroll
    steamroll
    bring to a specified state by overwhelming force or pressure
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    type of:
    go, move, proceed
    follow a procedure or take a course
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