Word + Quiz: steamroller

Word + Quiz: steamroller

noun: vehicle equipped with heavy wide smooth rollers for compacting roads and pavements

noun: a massive inexorable force that seems to crush everything in its way

verb: bring to a specified state by overwhelming force or pressure

verb: overwhelm by using great force


The word steamroller has appeared in 10 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Jan. 15 in “Is a 400% Rent Increase the Future of Coney Island?” by Aaron Randle:

Dianna Carlin should be finishing the book she is writing about the joys of owning the Lola Star boutique, a “really tiny, magical little shop” on the Coney Island boardwalk, for the past 19 years.

Instead, Ms. Carlin has been anxious and fearful since her landlord weeks ago offered her a new lease — with a 400 percent rent increase. “I’m wondering if I should start ordering ‘going out of business’ signs,” she said.

… And now, facing the steamroller of gentrification, even Coney Island’s quirky circus sideshow could be forced to confront an uncertain future.

“They’re trying to turn the People’s Playground into the playground for the wealthy,” Ms. Carlin said.