c. 1600, "part or character one takes," from French rôle "part played by a person in life," literally "roll" (of paper) on which an actor's part is written, from Old French rolle (see roll (n.)). Not originally in English with direct reference to actors and the stage, but figurative of them. The meaning "any conspicuous function performed characteristically by someone" is by 1875. In the social psychology sense is from 1913. Role model, one taken by others as a model in performance of some role, is attested by 1957.
"utopia," from title of a book published 1872 by British author Samuel Butler, a partial reversal of nowhere.
also re-cast, c. 1600, "to throw again," from re- "back, again" + cast (v.). Sense of "to cast or form anew, remodel," especially of literary works and other writing, is from 1790. Meaning "compute anew" is by 1865. Theater sense of "assign an actor or role to another role or actor" is by 1951. Related: Recasting. As a noun, "a fresh molding, arrangement, or modification," by 1840.
spelled-out form of K.O. (for knockout in the pugilism sense), from 1923. Also used in 1920s as a slang reversal of OK.
German prefix "denoting destruction, reversal, or completion" [Watkins], from Proto-Germanic *fer-, *far-, from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through."
by 1979, initialism (acronym) from role-playing game (see roleplay). As an initialism for rocket-propelled grenade, by 1970.