Definition of Russian roulette in English:

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Russian roulette

Pronunciation: /ˈˌrəSHən ro͞oˈlet/


1The practice of loading a bullet into one chamber of a revolver, spinning the cylinder, and then pulling the trigger while pointing the gun at one’s own head.
Example sentences
  • Unfortunately, not playing ball on trade agreements is like playing Russian roulette with a bullet in every chamber.
  • This is the nautical equivalent of playing Russian roulette with three chambers loaded.
  • Doctors will argue it's a game of Russian roulette and the next one may be the bullet, or that some people simply have good genes that will eventually catch up with them.
1.1An activity that is potentially very dangerous.
Example sentences
  • It is vital that schoolchildren are shown that glue sniffing is not just an innocent pastime, but a game of Russian roulette.
  • Pandering to the seniors is something of a political game of Russian roulette: Yes, they vote in high numbers.
  • In trying to subdue Afghanistan, the Soviets may well be playing a game of Russian roulette.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Rus·sian rou·lette

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