Definition of roulette in US English:



  • 1A gambling game in which a ball is dropped onto a revolving wheel (roulette wheel) with numbered compartments, the players betting on the number at which the ball will come to rest.

    • ‘There are five information-packed little sections on roulette.’
    • ‘Risk, he argued, was a randomness - as in a game of roulette - whose probability could be determined.’
    • ‘Roulette is the most popular game in Europe; where there is only one zero on the wheel, and the player's money lasts longer.’
    • ‘Players at the hotel's casino can choose from four gambling tables, three of them for card games and one for roulette.’
    • ‘Gaming tables, electronic roulette and rows of Las Vegas-style slots fill the casino floor, divided into smoking and non-smoking areas.’
    • ‘The book does provide reasonable introductions to several casino games, such as roulette, craps, and baccarat.’
    • ‘The artist was famous, of course, for his preoccupation with chess and roulette.’
    • ‘New fixed-odds terminals featuring a number of games including roulette were named as the driving force of recent growth at the group's 2,000 betting shops.’
    • ‘Some 1800 people have registered for online roulette from the casino since the service opened in July.’
    • ‘It was pretty much an all night event at a recreation center that had ping-pong, racquetball, casino games like blackjack and roulette, and basketball courts.’
    • ‘Jean, a young man who works as a bank clerk, is invited to the casino by a friend and promptly wins big at roulette.’
    • ‘The site offers slots, roulette and animated card games including poker and blackjack.’
    • ‘It is one of the best resources for isolating some of the earliest refinements by cheats for shooting craps and for cheating at roulette.’
    • ‘Blackjack is the only game in town, because unlike roulette or craps, what has gone before will influence what is about to happen.’
    • ‘Do not assume you will ever be a winner in the long run at negative expectation games (e.g., craps, roulette, baccarat, keno, most slots).’
    • ‘His books on blackjack, roulette, video poker, craps, slots and new games are consistently on the most-requested books lists of Ingram and other distributors.’
    • ‘Were this to be your goal, roulette could still be your game but an alternate approach would be appropriate.’
    • ‘Day after day, he loses at poker, he loses at roulette, and he loses in life - for he's now addicted to heroin.’
    • ‘Explaining that he'd been playing roulette, his wife asked how he did.’
    • ‘In a game of roulette, assuming the wheel is fairly balanced, you might say that the past results show that you can't tell what's coming next.’
  • 2A tool or machine with a revolving toothed wheel, used in engraving or for making slit-shaped perforations between postage stamps.

    • ‘Frequently the engraver began by etching the foundation of the design, and then built it up by the use of a special curved burin and by roulettes, punches, and other tools.’
    • ‘This is a method of puncturing a plate with roulettes, punches, and other tools so that modelling is achieved with greater or lesser accumulations of dots.’


[with object]
  • Make slit-shaped perforations in (paper, especially sheets of postage stamps)

    ‘the pages are rouletted next to the binding’


Mid 18th century: from French, diminutive of rouelle ‘wheel’, from late Latin rotella, diminutive of Latin rota ‘wheel’.