- Italian Orlando. the greatest of the paladins in the Charlemagne cycle of the chansons de geste, renowned for his prowess and the manner of his death in the battle of Roncesvalles (a.d. 778), also for his five days’ combat with Oliver in which neither was the victor.
- a male given name: from Germanic words meaning “glory” and “land.”
- a Roland for an Oliver, retaliation or a retort equal to its provocation; a blow for a blow.
- the greatest of the legendary 12 peers (paladins, of whom Oliver was another) in attendance on Charlemagne; he died in battle at Roncesvalles (778 ad)
masc. proper name, from French, from Old High German Hrodland, literally “(having a) famous land.” As legendary nephew of Charlemagne, celebrated in “Chanson de Roland,” c.1300. His comrade was Oliver, hence a Roland for an Oliver (1610s) in expressions meaning “to give as good as one gets, tit for tat.”