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 axisb : 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 eventsc (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 (3) : rotation 1b
2a : a sudden, radical, or complete changeb : a fundamental change in political organization; especially : the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governedc : activity or movement designed to effect fundamental changes in the socioeconomic situationd : a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm the Copernican revolutione : a changeover in use or preference especially in technology the computer revolution the foreign car revolution
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of revolution
Middle English revolucioun, from Medieval French revolution, from Late Latin revolution-, revolutio, from Latin revolvere to revolve
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of revolution
REVOLUTION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of revolution for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of revolution for Students
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
Learn More about revolution
See words that rhyme with revolution Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for revolution Spanish Central: Translation of revolution Nglish: Translation of revolution for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of revolution for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about revolution
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up revolution? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).