Main definitions of troll in English

: troll1troll2

troll1

Pronunciation: /trɒl//trəʊl/

noun

  • (in folklore) an ugly creature depicted as either a giant or a dwarf.

    • ‘I have fought trolls, seen elves, and I have met Carmella, one of the twelve sorceresses.’
    • ‘He had defeated giants, trolls, fearsome dragons with his skill and his Holy Sword.’
    • ‘They were far too strong, far too wise, and far too evil to be stopped by men, elves, trolls and dwarves alone.’
    • ‘As with other Scandinavian countries, Icelanders take great delight in stories of trolls, elves, and fairies.’
    • ‘A table, made of a dark wood and engraved with images of giants and trolls and enchanting dragons, loomed as the centerpiece of the room.’
    • ‘I like the character detail of the goblins and trolls.’
    • ‘They showed all the mythological creatures that here existed, unicorns and flying horses, fauns and mermaids, elves and trolls, giants and dragons and many more beautiful and dangerous creatures she had never seen.’
    • ‘In the books she read, most trolls were idiotic giants that killed people.’
    • ‘Probably the most famous creatures of Norwegian folklore are the trolls - large, powerful, grotesque beings.’
    • ‘Throughout the ages, legends have always been richly embroidered with fantastic creatures; fairies and elves, trolls and giants, dragons and gryphons, phoenixes and shape-shifters.’
    • ‘You do not have to discourse with fairies or elves, gnomes or trolls.’
    • ‘Immortality, he had learned young on, was something his grandmother would speak about when she told them about elves, trolls, and the imaginary world of fancy.’
    • ‘Hobbits, of course, are fictional characters, as are dwarves, elves, goblins, and trolls.’
    • ‘Almost none of them were human - some looked like small dwarves, others like giant trolls!’
    • ‘For those of you unfamiliar with J.R.R. Tolkien, prepare to enter a land where humans share the earth with goblins, trolls, elves, dwarves, dragons and, of course, hobbits.’
    • ‘And, with no dragons, monsters or trolls around to hunt, clearly something had to be done before the fickle finger of fate intervened.’
    • ‘Dwarves, trolls, giants, and goblins were of a lesser intelligence and did not associate much with humans and faeries.’
    • ‘Monsters such as goblins, orcs, trolls, and ogres thrived here.’
    • ‘Then he lowered his horns, galloped along the bridge and butted the ugly troll.’
    • ‘From the depths of Gan came the ogres, the goblins, the trolls, and, of course, the leprechauns, who were later conquered by the good of elves.’
    sprite, pixie, elf, imp, brownie, puck
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century: from Old Norse and Swedish troll, Danish trold. The first English use is from Shetland; the term was adopted more widely into English in the mid 19th century.

Pronunciation:

troll

/trɒl//trəʊl/

Main definitions of troll in English

: troll1troll2

troll2

Pronunciation: /trɒl//trəʊl/

noun

  • 1A person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post.

    ‘one solution is to make a troll's postings invisible to the rest of community once they've been recognized’
    • ‘After this idea was posted on the blog, the number of trolls diminished to almost zero.’
    • ‘Administrators can avoid criticism by the time-honoured tactic of shooting the messengers - labelling them trolls, then banning them.’
    • ‘Whacking trolls is, for some that website's editors, a big part of why they keep coming back.’
    • ‘I'll reserve judgement on whether your post is a troll.’
    1. 1.1A deliberately offensive or provocative online post.
      • ‘If you're going to post stupid trolls, you could at least try to make them interesting.’
      • ‘This has absolutely nothing to do with trolls, nasty emails or whiny posting.’
      • ‘After this idea was posted on the blog, the number of trolls diminished to almost zero.’
      • ‘Or is this a disaster waiting to happen in the form of massive comments spam, trolls, and other blog delights?’
      • ‘Just keep in mind that hateful comments and trolls will be deleted.’
  • 2A line or bait used in trolling for fish.

    • ‘Fifteen salmon caught for the month of March and all fish were on the troll.’
    • ‘A few anglers are taking fish on the troll, but fly fishing is virtually at a halt.’
    • ‘Whether you're using a troll, small lure on lead core line or a lure-and-worm combination, you'll find trout favoring certain areas of a lake.’
    lure, decoy, fly, troll, jig, plug, teaser
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Make a deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.

    ‘if people are obviously trolling then I'll delete your posts and do my best to ban you’
    [with object] ‘you folks taking this opportunity to troll me, you really need to reassess your values in your life’
    • ‘Somehow, we're trolling him on our own website, according to his crazy logic.’
    • ‘One of the mailing lists I'm on got trolled this week, which was interesting as it rarely happens to places I hang out on.’
    • ‘Flaming and trolling have been part of internet interaction probably for nearly as long as there has been an internet.’
    • ‘What a timely example of private comment spam AND trolling rolled into one.’
    • ‘It looks like the site is still being trolled by right-wing reactionaries trying to stir the pot instead of educate.’
    • ‘The company in Los Angeles is but one of several companies that hire people to troll Internet chatrooms and newsgroups posing as clients' fans.’
  • 2Carefully and systematically search an area for something.

    ‘a group of companies trolling for partnership opportunities’
    [with object] ‘I spent tonight trolling the Internet for expensive lighting gear’
    • ‘The company, trolling for more such bargains, declined to comment.’
    • ‘He trolled for investors through a full-page ad in Business Week.’
    • ‘Found this happy item while trolling the Guardian for some piping fresh outrage.’
    • ‘They spend hours scouring the wires and trolling for trade partners in search of the final piece in a championship run.’
    • ‘Search firms have long trolled the industry's executive ranks, often unsuccessfully, as financial stability and employer loyalty kept individuals in place.’
    • ‘After that, Matthews trolled for jobs, knocking on 200 doors, working as a Capitol policeman.’
    1. 2.1Fish by trailing a baited line along behind a boat.
      ‘we trolled for mackerel’
      • ‘They had caught large fish from both the shore and whilst trolling out in the boat.’
      • ‘Preferred fishing methods are trolling with lures or baits, bottom fishing, jigging, chumming, and spin casting.’
      • ‘When we got to the area where the birds were we could not see much evidence of fish so we just stuck the lines out and trolled for a few minutes.’
      • ‘So unless you like fishing or trolling around the lake in a little boat there's not much else we can do here,’ he answered.’
      • ‘The second key is to never stop trolling if you hook fish.’
  • 3British Walk in a leisurely way; stroll.

    ‘we all trolled into town’
    • ‘We were trolling along rather sedately down one of those country lanes that probably don't exist anymore when we spotted blue helmets bobbing up and down over the hedgerows (which certainly don't exist anymore).’
    • ‘Do I go home after work, walk and feed Edward then leave him alone again and troll back into town?’
    • ‘There were numerous supposed celebs and/or film industry people trolling along the road, the occasional cheer from the crowd and camera flashes going off left, right and centre.’
  • 4[with object] Sing (something) in a happy and carefree way.

    ‘he trolled a note or two’
    • ‘After this the parting song would be trolled out, and the last of the revellers would depart.’
    • ‘And when he had supped the Old Soldier trolled The song of youth that never grows old.’
    chant, intone, croon, carol, chorus, warble, trill, pipe, quaver
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • feed the trolls

    • informal [usually with negative]Respond to deliberately offensive or provocative online posts.

      ‘don't feed the trolls, guys, it only makes them come back’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense stroll, roll): origin uncertain; compare with Old French troller wander here and there (in search of game) and Middle High German trollen stroll. The computing senses (first recorded in 1992) are probably influenced by troll.

Pronunciation:

troll

/trɒl//trəʊl/