ROLODEX Meaning and Definition

A Rolodex is a noun that refers to a rotating device used to store and organize contact information such as names, addresses, and telephone numbers. It is typically a desktop or handheld tool featuring a circular spindle with index cards inserted. The name is a blend of "rolling" and "index." This term gained popularity as it became synonymous with the specific brand name "Rolodex" which was first introduced in the 1950s.

The Rolodex system operates by arranging individual cards in alphabetical order around the spindle, allowing easy access to contact details. The cards are typically removable and can be easily added or removed, enabling users to update or expand their contact lists effortlessly. The cards typically include tabs labeled with letters or categories to aid in locating specific entries quickly.

Rolodexes were widely used in offices and homes before the advent of digital address books and online contact management systems. They provided a convenient and tangible way to organize personal and professional contacts, providing quick access without requiring complicated technology or power sources.

With the advancement of digital technology, Rolodexes have become less common; however, the term "Rolodex" is still used colloquially to describe any physical or digital system used for organizing and storing contact information. Furthermore, it has also become a metaphorical term referring to an individual's network of professional or influential contacts.

Frequency of the word Rolodex appearance in books over time

The depicted graph illustrates the occurrences of the term "Rolodex" in a collection of English books from 1800 to 2008.