Definition of roly-poly in US English:



  • (of a person) having a round, plump appearance.

    ‘a roly-poly young boy’
    • ‘She is the mother of three roly-poly, jolly children, and the wife of a roly-poly, not-so-jolly butcher.’
    • ‘This could have been played seriously as in a caper film and worked much better than the roly-poly actor stumbling around trying to pull off the job for comic effect.’
    • ‘Despite the copious amounts they can pack away, roly-poly types are less common than lanky or athletic builds, sometimes with the equine features of their symbol.’
    • ‘Played by two women, their portrayal of the huffy, roly-poly cartoon-like Russians was very amusing.’
    • ‘With Phys Ed cut from public school curriculum in favor of computer class, physical activity among today's roly-poly kids is down.’
    • ‘First we popped in on a roly-poly Alsatian farm wife and watched her brewing outrageously smelly Munster cheese to the accompaniment of tub-thumping Bavarian music.’
    • ‘The others were all middle-aged roly-poly bearded guys.’
    • ‘The roly-poly, laughing baby who, come to think of it, looks remarkably like a little Buddha.’
    • ‘An old lady with a roly-poly figure waddled her way over to me and gave me a friendly smile.’
    • ‘Rick was getting out of the shotgun seat and a roly-poly man with glasses was getting out of the driver's seat.’
    chubby, plump, fat, stout, rotund, buxom, well upholstered, well covered, well padded, of ample proportions, ample, round, rounded, well rounded, full, fattish, dumpy, chunky, broad in the beam, portly, overweight, fleshy, paunchy, bulky, corpulent
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  • A sweet pastry dough covered with jam or fruit, formed into a roll, and boiled, steamed, or baked.

    • ‘The list of puddings included deep pan apple pie, jam roly-poly and treacle sponge.’
    • ‘Formerly roly-poly pudding was boiled in a pudding cloth; but the skill of enclosing a pudding of this shape in a cloth has now mostly been lost.’
    • ‘Bangers and mash and roly-poly pudding were on the menu and prizes were presented by Mayor, Councillor Barbara Shone for the most authentic costumes.’
    • ‘Everything was cooked in the one utensil; the square of bacon, amounting to little more than a taste each; cabbage, or other green vegetables, in one net, potatoes in another, and the roly-poly swathed in a cloth.’
    • ‘They will be cooking chicken rogan josh followed by apple and cinnamon roly-poly in the final.’


Early 17th century: fanciful formation from the verb roll.



/ˈroʊli ˈpoʊli//ˈrōlē ˈpōlē/