AskDefine | Define steamroller

Dictionary Definition



1 a massive inexorable force that seems to crush everything in its way [syn: juggernaut]
2 vehicle equipped with heavy wide smooth rollers for compacting roads and pavements [syn: road roller]


1 bring to a specified state by overwhelming force or pressure; "The Senator steamrollered the bill to defeat" [syn: steamroll]
2 proceed with great force; "The new teacher tends to steamroller" [syn: steamroll]
3 crush with a steamroller as if to level; "steamroller the road"
4 overwhelm by using great force; "steamroller the opposition" [syn: steamroll]
5 make level or flat with a steamroller; "steamroll the roads" [syn: steamroll]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a steam-powered heavy road roller
  2. In the context of "by extension": any seemingly irresistible force
  3. a pipe, used for smoking cannabis, open at both ends and having a bowl near one end; it rolls the smoke (steam)


steam-powered road roller
  • Finnish: höyryjyrä
  • Hungarian: gőzhenger, úthenger
irresistible force
  • Finnish: höyryjyrä
  • Hungarian: gőzhenger


  1. to level a road using a steamroller
  2. to proceed ruthlessly against all opposition as if with an overwhelming force; to overpower


to level with a steamroller
  • Finnish: jyrätä
to proceed ruthlessly
  • Finnish: jyrätä


Extensive Definition

A steamroller (or steam roller) is a form of road roller – a type of heavy construction machinery used for levelling surfaces, such as roads or airfields – that is powered by a steam engine. The levelling/flattening action is achieved through a combination of the size and weight of the vehicle and the rolls: the smooth wheels and the large cylinder or drum fitted in place of treaded road wheels.

External links

  • Road Roller Association – UK-based society dedicated to the preservation of steam (and motor) rollers and ancillary road-making equipment.
  • "Steam Dinosaur" – world's oldest surviving traction engine: immediate ancestor of Aveling's earliest rollers.(Article includes lots of detail about early Aveling roller design.)
steamroller in Spanish: Apisonadora
steamroller in Yiddish: סטימראלער

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

align, beat, beat down, big battalions, blackjack, blank, blast, blow down, bludgeon, break down, bring down, brute force, bulldoze, bulldozer, bully, burn down, cast down, cheese grater, chop down, clobber, coerce, coercive, comminutor, cream, crusher, cut down, defeat utterly, dragoon, drub, equalize, even, fell, flatten, flush, force, forcible, grade, granulator, grater, grinder, hijack, intimidate, knock down, knock over, kominuter, lambaste, lay, lay down, lay flat, lay level, lay low, lay out, level, levigator, lick, main force, masher, mill, millstone, mortar and pestle, mow down, naked force, nutmeg grater, overbear, overwhelm, paste, pestle, physical force, prostrate, pull down, pulverizer, quern, quernstone, rase, raze, rock crusher, roll, roll flat, roller, rule of might, schmear, shanghai, shellac, shredder, shut out, skunk, sledgehammer, smash, smear, smooth, smooth out, smoothen, snow under, steamroll, strong-arm, take down, tear down, throw down, triturator, tyranny, ultima ratio, use violence, violent, wallop, whelm, whitewash, whomp, whop
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