Roll Over: Definition, Meaning And Origin

Last Updated on
June 14, 2023

The phrase "roll over" means to turn over from one position or side to another, especially while lying down. Figuratively, it suggests submitting or yielding to someone else's demands, objections, or criticisms in a rather passive or docile manner.

In short:

"Roll over" typically represents the act of passively giving in to pressure or authority.

What Does "Roll Over" Mean?

The phrase "roll over" signifies a form of submission or capitulation. A person or group "rolls over" when they easily succumb to the demands, objections, or criticisms of others. For instance, you might say a company "rolled over" when it accepted unfavorable terms in a business deal without putting up a fight.

Let's explore its core meanings:

  • It often indicates a passive or docile submission to demands or pressures.
  • In a financial context, it can denote the renewal or extension of a loan or deposit.
  • It also refers to the physical act of rolling oneself over, such as a baby learning to roll over or an instruction to a pet dog.

Where Does "Roll Over" Come From?

The term "roll over" has roots in finance, dating back to the 19th century when it was used to describe the extension of a loan or the reinvestment of funds. The idiom represents the notion that financial obligations or investments can be deferred or extended, much like a wheel continuing its motion.

Historical Example

"Even though its average maturity is very short, commercial paper still poses the risk than an issuer might not be able to pay off or roll over maturing paper."

- Economic Review, 1980

10 Examples of "Roll Over" in Sentences

Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:

  • On a side note, the small start-up didn't roll over despite the fierce competition.
  • During the debate, he simply rolled over and accepted all their points without argument.
  • I'm trying to understand what's going on; why did they roll over so easily during the negotiations?
  • The administration's decision to roll over on the issue was met with widespread criticism.
  • Those who don't roll over and take charge often run the day in competitive environments.
  • He has a habit of rolling over in discussions, rarely standing his ground.
  • Rest assured, and our team won't just roll over and give up. We'll fight until the end.
  • Despite his initial reluctance, he eventually rolled over and signed the agreement.
  • I hear you but remember. We can't simply roll over every time a challenge arises.
  • Don't just roll over and accept what they're offering; negotiate for better terms.

Examples of "Roll Over" in Pop Culture

The phrase "roll over" occasionally appears in pop culture, often relating to the idea of surrender or yielding without resistance.

Let's examine some examples:

  • The song "Roll Over Beethoven" by Chuck Berry, later covered by The Beatles, uses the term metaphorically to convey a strong desire for change in the music scene.
  • In the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013–2020), Jeffrey Mace tells Phil Coulson, "Oh, come on, Phil! Make up your mind! You want to be director or not? 'Cause I'm not some meat puppet who's just going to smile and roll over on command."
  • In the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Tony Stark tells Bruce Banner, "Really? That's it? You just roll over and show your belly, every time somebody snarls?"

Other/Different Ways to Say "Roll Over"

There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "roll over."

Here are some of them:

  • Give in
  • Yield
  • Succumb
  • Submit
  • Extend or defer (in a financial context)

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Roll Over":

  • What does "roll over" mean?

"Roll over" typically signifies the act of deferring a financial term or easily giving in to something or someone.

  • How can I use "roll over" in a sentence?

You can use "roll over" to denote extension of a financial term or yielding easily in a situation. For example, "Despite their demands, he refused to roll over."

  • Where does the idiom "roll over" come from?

The phrase originates from the financial world, where it was used to describe the extension of a loan or the reinvestment of funds.

  • Is "roll over" a formal term?

Yes, "roll over" can be used in both formal and informal contexts, but it is especially common in financial discussions.

  • Does "roll over" always refer to financial terms?

No, while it often refers to financial terms, it can also metaphorically denote a lack of resistance or easy surrender in various contexts.

  • Can "roll over" be seen as a negative term?

It can be perceived negatively if it refers to a person not standing up for themselves or their beliefs. In financial contexts, it's neutral and simply refers to the extension of a term.

  • What is the opposite of "roll over"?

The opposite of "roll over" could be "stand up", "resist", or "confront" when used in a non-financial context. In finance, it could be "close out" or "terminate" a contract or investment.

  • Can "roll over" imply a lack of courage or conviction?

In certain contexts, "roll over" can suggest a lack of courage or conviction, particularly when it's used to describe someone acquiescing to others without much resistance.

  • Is it appropriate to use the term "roll over" in professional or academic writing?

Yes, "roll over" is a commonly used term in both professional and academic writing, especially in financial discussions.

  • Does "roll over" have a different meaning in the context of pet training?

Yes, in pet training, particularly with dogs, "roll over" is a command that instructs the pet to lie down and roll onto its back.

Final Thoughts About "Roll Over"

The phrase "roll over" literally means to turn one's body over to change position. Figuratively, it suggests yielding or giving in to someone else without putting up much resistance. While the expression is used both positively and negatively, it often implies a rather critical perspective that acquiescence comes too easily.

Here's a quick summary:

  • The term generally indicates yielding or giving in, though it can also refer to physical movements or financial transactions.
  • While the phrase often carries a negative connotation, it can be neutral or even positive, depending on the context.
  • "Roll over" can apply to any entity - individuals, groups, organizations, or even governments.

While the idiom often implies passive submission, it can be used positively when someone chooses not to resist for the greater good or to maintain peace and harmony.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Copyright © 2024 - U.S. Dictionary
Privacy Policy