While Oxford Dictionary of English does not have definition of rollover, Wiktionary defines this word as "a graphic element that changes its shape or colour when the cursor moves over it"; in other terms, when we roll the trackball of a mouse over this element without having to click.

Also, it is common to use rollover as adjective and as verb, at least on internet.

Is this usage of rollover acceptable nowadays?

Since most people use now either optical mice or trackpads, has the term rollover become technically obsolete? If so, is there a better word?

  • 2
    In terms of alternatives, I think mouseover is or is becoming more common than rollover. I've also seen hover text used to describe HTML <alt> text (which is different but similar).
    – zpletan
    May 6, 2012 at 18:51
  • @zpletan - Thank you for the comment. I agree, mouseover is better than rollover.
    – user19148
    May 6, 2012 at 19:08
  • The CSS selector for this action is :hover. May 8, 2012 at 7:12

1 Answer 1


The verb should be roll over, two words. That way you can conjugate it reasonably.

When I rolled over the active element, nothing happened.


*When I rollovered the active element, nothing happened.

For an adjective or noun, rollover as one word is fine.

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