a. A steam-driven machine equipped with a heavy roller for smoothing road surfaces.
b. A similar machine with an internal-combustion engine.
2. A ruthless or irresistible force or power.
v. also steam·roll (-rōl′) steam·roll·ered, steam·roll·er·ing, steam·roll·ers also steam·rolled or steam·roll·ing or steam·rolls
1. To smooth or level (a road) with a steamroller.
2. To overwhelm or suppress ruthlessly; crush.
To move or proceed with overwhelming or crushing force.
(click for a larger image)steamroller
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.