Definition of Russian roulette in English:

Russian roulette


mass noun
  • 1The practice of loading a bullet into one chamber of a revolver, spinning the cylinder, and then pulling the trigger while pointing the gun at one's own head.

    • ‘A routine call to a domestic argument ended with a police constable staring down the barrel of a loaded gun in a deadly game of Russian roulette.’
    • ‘Doctors will argue it's a game of Russian roulette and the next one may be the bullet, or that some people simply have good genes that will eventually catch up with them.’
    • ‘According to the script, fellow singer Johnny, who shot himself in a game of Russian roulette while she looked on, was the love of her life.’
    • ‘This is the nautical equivalent of playing Russian roulette with three chambers loaded.’
    • ‘The charismatic magician, most famous for staging a game of Russian roulette on live television last year, was originally trained as a lawyer, before starting his performing career in cafes and bars.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, not playing ball on trade agreements is like playing Russian roulette with a bullet in every chamber.’
    • ‘That's why he agreed when a friend suggested a game of Russian roulette.’
    • ‘Millions of viewers will this week tune in to watch a man playing Russian roulette on live television.’
    • ‘The first condition excludes Russian roulette; the second eliminates math, chess, spelling, and bridge; the third and fourth conditions, alas, rule out urinating for distance.’
    • ‘His appointment to the national game would be the biggest gamble since he played Russian roulette on television.’
    • ‘To take comfort in this pattern, however, is like trying to find reassurance in an extended game of Russian roulette: sooner or later the odds will turn against you.’
    • ‘After he survived a game of Russian roulette while home alone that day, he sought help and was admitted to the intensive care unit at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.’
    • ‘They try to stay on Mel's good side and avoid him during his homicidal depressions, during which he favors games of Russian roulette.’
    • ‘He was a third string r&b singer who blew his brains out playing Russian roulette when Paul was about 12 years old.’
    • ‘They don't call it Russian roulette for nothing you know.’
    • ‘Indeed, I have learned that he is so confident of his mind-reading skills that he plans to perform Russian roulette live on television.’
    • ‘She had played drinking games, Russian roulette, and had even been involved in a massive orgy.’
    • ‘And ‘when playing Russian roulette, the fact that the first shot got off safely is little comfort for the next’.’
    • ‘Guys do play games with guns and a particular army favourite with the SA80 is to pretend to load the breech with a single bullet, remove the magazine and dare a colleague in Russian roulette.’
    • ‘The 6ft 8in former lock was capped 20 times by France in the early Seventies and played in a ferocious Beziers pack, who lost one of their number when he killed himself in a game of Russian roulette.’
    1. 1.1 An activity that is potentially very dangerous.
      ‘we can't afford to play Russian Roulette with our existing antibiotics’
      • ‘Pandering to the seniors is something of a political game of Russian roulette: Yes, they vote in high numbers.’
      • ‘Maybe we are gambling with our ecosystem in a game of Russian roulette that will lead to environmental Armageddon.’
      • ‘It is vital that schoolchildren are shown that glue sniffing is not just an innocent pastime, but a game of Russian roulette.’
      • ‘In trying to subdue Afghanistan, the Soviets may well be playing a game of Russian roulette.’
      • ‘You're playing Russian roulette with Mother Nature if you do.’


Russian roulette