This came up while trying to name things while writing an app, specifically, naming the class that represents a user and the roles they have in the system (e.g. student, administrator, etc).

AFAIK it's not commonly used, but it's concise and seems natural to me to describe a user who has been granted any role as a "roled user". A coworker spelled it differently, referring everywhere to a "rolled user".

I'm inclined to think those mean rather different things. I haven't been able to confirm that by searching because I can't avoid getting overwhelmed with irrelevant results for "roll" rather than "role" or "rolex" rather than "roled".

Is "roled" a word? Does it mean what I think it means? Does "rolled" also mean what I think "roled" should mean?

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    Be wary of the fact that Wiktionary gives "roled" word status. It's missing from other online dictionaries, such as Merriam-Webster. At best, I'd say it was an extrapolated word, which is to say that if you used it, someone would understand that you combined the word "role" with the "-ed" ending to form an adjective. Actors who are given roles are said to be "casted" as such and such a character, not "roled". In your situation, I might use "designated" or "assigned" (an administrator). – Steven Littman Nov 20 '17 at 17:35
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    @Steven If someone were described as being casted, I would expect them to be in India and have been assigned to a caste. In my experience, at least, actors are cast when given parts, not casted. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 20 '17 at 20:13
  • @JanusBahsJacquet, I hadn't considered using "rolt user" – ShadSterling Nov 20 '17 at 20:51
  • Try this: assigned. – aparente001 Nov 20 '17 at 21:01

If your concern is whether the word is given credence in highly regarded dictionaries, Oxford English Dictionary can resolve the issue.

The OED does, in fact, define "role" as a transitive verb in the fashion you are describing.

role v. trans. -- To provide with a role indicator.

Cited use:

The presence of the connective merely ensures that the first word in the multi-word phrase is roled and stored.

  • Program · 1976.

Roled is marked as a derivative word, so you would be safe in the realm of English using the word in this fashion.

It's worth noting that the word is provided with a context: Computing. rare. So if you are more concerned with being understood by a layperson than you are with using sanctioned English words, you might avoid using "role" in this way.

The OED offers no definition under "rolled" for this meaning, and none that is cross-referenced to the verb "role" or "roled."


'roled' is a bit borderline on being a real word. Only self-editable dictionaries seem to have it. More strict dictionaries do not. I would recommend against it in formal writing.

In any case, rolled does not mean the same as roled.

'Roll' is not a synonym of 'role'. It has many meanings, but all of them are related to moving circularly or on wheels. Using 'rolled' where 'roled' is meant will cause confusion. A rolled user would be one wrapped up in a tortilla.

Confusion is sometimes caused by the existence of the word 'enrolled', which means to have made something a member of something. It doesn't imply having a role.


'Rolled' is the past participle of 'to roll'.

'Role' is a noun. The only possible derivation of 'roled' is as the noun 'role' verbified, and then take its past participle. This is a very long stretch to interpret 'roled', given that it is not a recognized word.

  • By the way, Wiktionary is crap. – Mitch Nov 21 '17 at 0:42

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