round robin

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round robin

1. In sports, a tournament in which all participants must face everyone else in successive turns. Hyphenated if used as a modifier before a noun. Because we had an odd number of teams, we decided to make the tournament a round robin. There will be four round-robin competitions, with the winner of each one going into a final bracket on Sunday.
2. A document signed in a circle around the edges to mask the order of the signatures (so that a leader of the message cannot be identified). Employees opposing the move have decided to send a round robin to management outlining their protest.
See also: robin, round

round robin

1. A petition or other document signed by several persons in sequence, so that no one can tell who was the first to sign it. For example, We decided to send a round robin to management to protest the new rules about work hours . This term originally referred to a grievance presented by seamen to their captain, called round because of the circular sequence of names, but the source of robin has been lost. [Early 1700s]
2. In sports, a tournament in which each player or team plays against all of the others in turn. For example, The club always holds a tennis round robin on the Fourth of July. [Late 1800s]
See also: robin, round

a ˌround ˈrobin

a letter of protest, etc. that has been signed by many people in such a way that no single person can be blamed or punished for sending it: Did you sign that round robin that was sent to the manager this week?This comes from the navy. Originally it was a letter of protest in which the signatures were written in a circle so that nobody could see who had signed it first.
See also: robin, round