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1. verb To reduce, limit, decrease, or devalue something, or reset something to a previous level or status. A noun or pronoun can be used between "roll" and "back." The new administration has been slowly rolling back regulatory legislation. If you roll your prices back, it will be much harder to raise them again without a lot of customer complaints.
2. noun A reduction, limit, decrease, or devaluation of something, or a reset of something to a previous level or status. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. The roll-back of regulatory legislation has angered many consumer groups. This price roll-back should make our customers happy.
roll something back
to return something to someone by rotating it, as with a wheel or a ball, or moving it back on wheels. I intercepted the ball and rolled it back. Jane rolled back the ball.
[for something] to return, rotating or turning or moving on wheels. I rolled the ball away, thinking it would roll back. It didn't. I struck the golf ball out of the sand trap, but it rolled back.
roll prices back
Fig. to reduce prices. The store rolled all its prices back for the sale. The protesters demanded that the big oil companies roll back their prices.
Decrease, cut back, or reduce, especially prices, as in Unless they roll back oil prices, this summer's tourist traffic will be half of last year's . [c. 1940]
1. To reduce the power or influence of something: The government tried to roll back the growing student movement. When the union achieved a more powerful position, management tried to roll it back.
2. To reduce something, as a price or value, to a previous lower level: We had to roll back prices to compete with the discount stores. After the store owner raised prices on toasters, no one bought them, so she had to roll them back.