The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Roll \Roll\, n. [F. r[^o]le a roll (in sense 3), fr. L. rotulus
? little wheel, LL., a roll, dim. of L. rota a wheel. See
Roll, v., and cf. R[^o]le, Rouleau, Roulette.]
1. The act of rolling, or state of being rolled; as, the roll
of a ball; the roll of waves.
2. That which rolls; a roller. Specifically:
(a) A heavy cylinder used to break clods. --Mortimer.
(b) One of a set of revolving cylinders, or rollers,
between which metal is pressed, formed, or smoothed,
as in a rolling mill; as, to pass rails through the
3. That which is rolled up; as, a roll of fat, of wool,
paper, cloth, etc. Specifically:
(a) A document written on a piece of parchment, paper, or
other materials which may be rolled up; a scroll.
Busy angels spread
The lasting roll, recording what we say.
(b) Hence, an official or public document; a register; a
record; also, a catalogue; a list.
The rolls of Parliament, the entry of the
petitions, answers, and transactions in
Parliament, are extant. --Sir M. Hale.
The roll and list of that army doth remain.
(c) A quantity of cloth wound into a cylindrical form; as,
a roll of carpeting; a roll of ribbon.
(d) A cylindrical twist of tobacco.
4. A kind of shortened raised biscuit or bread, often rolled
or doubled upon itself.
5. (Naut.) The oscillating movement of a vessel from side to
side, in sea way, as distinguished from the alternate rise
and fall of bow and stern called pitching.
6. A heavy, reverberatory sound; as, the roll of cannon, or
7. The uniform beating of a drum with strokes so rapid as
scarcely to be distinguished by the ear.
8. Part; office; duty; role. [Obs.] --L'Estrange.
Long roll (Mil.), a prolonged roll of the drums, as the
signal of an attack by the enemy, and for the troops to
arrange themselves in line.
Master of the rolls. See under Master.
Roll call, the act, or the time, of calling over a list
names, as among soldiers.
Rolls of court, of parliament (or of any public body),
the parchments or rolls on which the acts and proceedings
of that body are engrossed by the proper officer, and
which constitute the records of such public body.
To call the roll, to call off or recite a list or roll of
names of persons belonging to an organization, in order to
ascertain who are present or to obtain responses from
Syn: List; schedule; catalogue; register; inventory. See