I would like to know which of "roll" and "rotate" is better in the following sentence I created.

A printer has a roller inside to feed paper. The roller is supported by a shaft to a printer casing and rolls/rotates on the shaft.

I looked up "roll" in some dictionaries and found that it is usually used for a moving object, so I think "rotate" is better in the above sentence, but the name "roller" causes me to use "roll".

  • Are you saying that the roller is not moving?
    – user3169
    Feb 16, 2018 at 20:28
  • Neither supported to...a casing nor a shaft to a printer casing is idiomatic. The roller is mounted (axially) on a shaft. Does the entire shaft spin with the roller around it? Or is the shaft fixed, with bearings between it and the roller? Feb 17, 2018 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


I would also use "rotate", but only because it avoids the repetition of "roll"

Dictionary.com has "to revolve or turn over, once or repeatedly, as a wheel on an axis" as its tenth meaning of "roll". So it is correct to say "the roller rolls on the shaft"

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