1. also rôle A character or part played by a performer.
2. The characteristic and expected social behavior of an individual.
3. A function or position. See Synonyms at function.
4. Linguistics The function of a word or construction, as in a sentence.
[French rôle, from Old French rolle, roll of parchment (on which an actor's part was written), from Latin rotula, diminutive of rota, wheel; see ROLL.]
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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.