revolution

noun
rev·​o·​lu·​tion | \ ˌre-və-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce revolution (audio) \

Definition of revolution

1a(1) : the action by a celestial body of going round in an orbit or elliptical course also : apparent movement of such a body round the earth
(2) : the time taken by a celestial body to make a complete round in its orbit
(3) : the rotation of a celestial body on its axis
b : completion of a course (as of years) also : the period made by the regular succession of a measure of time or by a succession of similar events
c(1) : a progressive motion of a body around an axis so that any line of the body parallel to the axis returns to its initial position while remaining parallel to the axis in transit and usually at a constant distance from it
(2) : motion of any figure about a center or axis revolution of a right triangle about one of its legs generates a cone
2a : a sudden, radical, or complete change
b : a fundamental change in political organization especially : the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed
c : activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situation
d : a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm the Copernican revolution
e : a changeover in use or preference especially in technology the computer revolution the foreign car revolution

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Choose the Right Synonym for revolution

rebellion, revolution, uprising, revolt, insurrection, mutiny mean an outbreak against authority. rebellion implies an open formidable resistance that is often unsuccessful. open rebellion against the officers revolution applies to a successful rebellion resulting in a major change (as in government). a political revolution that toppled the monarchy uprising implies a brief, limited, and often immediately ineffective rebellion. quickly put down the uprising revolt and insurrection imply an armed uprising that quickly fails or succeeds. a revolt by the Young Turks that surprised party leaders an insurrection of oppressed laborers mutiny applies to group insubordination or insurrection especially against naval authority. a mutiny led by the ship's cook

Revolution and Revolt

Revolution and revolt have a shared origin, both ultimately going back to the Latin revolvere “to revolve, roll back.” When revolution first appeared in English in the 14th century, it referred to the movement of a celestial body in orbit; that sense was extended to “a progressive motion of a body around an axis,” “completion of a course,” and other senses suggesting regularity of motion or a predictable return to an original position. At virtually the same time, the word developed a sharply different meaning, namely, ”a sudden radical, or complete change,” apparently from the idea of reversal of direction implicit in the Latin verb. Revolt , which initially meant “to renounce allegiance,” grew from the same idea of “rolling back,” in this case from a prior bond of loyalty.

Examples of revolution in a Sentence

The group started a revolution. The king knew that there was a threat of revolution. This new theory could cause a revolution in elementary education. the revolution of the Earth around the Sun The period of revolution of the Earth around the Sun is equal to one year. The Earth makes one revolution on its axis in about 24 hours. This motor operates at a speed of 5,000 revolutions per minute.
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Recent Examples on the Web

To complete the revolution, LSU needs to snap an eight-game losing streak to Alabama. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "Three questions facing the SEC this offseason," 7 June 2019 Demonstrators, meanwhile, are enraged by the betrayal of their democratic revolution. The Economist, "Pro-democracy protesters are slaughtered in Khartoum," 6 June 2019 The spinning gets faster and continues for about 40 seconds as the crew tries to slow the revolutions, raising and lowering the basket. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Some rescue! Hiker goes into dizzying spin beneath helicopter," 5 June 2019 Earth’s rotation gives us the day, its revolution around the sun gives us the year, and its dance with the moon gives us the month. Frank Wilczek, WSJ, "The Challenge of Measuring Time," 22 May 2019 How socio-economically, culturally, and in terms of societal hierarchy, there was a very specific dynamic in place that enabled revolution. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "David Oyelowo on Javert's Tragic Suicide in Les Misérables," 20 May 2019 Because of their infrequent revolutions around the planet, existing technology can only capture them by chance. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Can a New Telescope Spot Earth's Evasive Minimoons?," 19 Aug. 2018 Over the subsequent years, the Arab Spring faded into an Arab Winter as Syria spiraled into civil war and Egypt faced an authoritarian backlash to its once-promising revolution. Michael Hardy, WIRED, "Where the Holy Land Meets the Modern World," 12 July 2018 Carey says that the media industry is in its fourth great revolution of the past century. Sarah Ellison, Philly.com, "Rupert Murdoch: The media mogul says goodbye to much of the company he built," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'revolution.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of revolution

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for revolution

Middle English revolucioun, from Middle French revolution, from Late Latin revolution-, revolutio, from Latin revolvere to revolve

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Statistics for revolution

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for revolution

The first known use of revolution was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for revolution

revolution

noun

English Language Learners Definition of revolution

: the usually violent attempt by many people to end the rule of one government and start a new one
: a sudden, extreme, or complete change in the way people live, work, etc.
: the action of moving around something in a path that is similar to a circle

revolution

noun
rev·​o·​lu·​tion | \ ˌre-və-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce revolution (audio) \

Kids Definition of revolution

1 : the action by a heavenly body of going round in a fixed course The revolution of the earth around the sun marks one year.
2 : a spinning motion around a center or axis : rotation A light push started the globe's revolution.
3 : a single complete turn (as of a wheel) The earth makes one revolution on its axis in 24 hours.
4 : a sudden, extreme, or complete change (as in manner of living or working)
5 : the overthrow of a ruler or government by violent action

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