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 What could be mistaken for subtle chaos inside is actually just an ad hoc restaurant revolution in action. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Best New Restaurant No. 2: YumVillage, Detroit," 14 Feb. 2020 Conservatives resisted but lost as liberals accommodated the revolution. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Agony of the Democrats," 14 Feb. 2020 The shale treadmill The shale revolution unlocked previously inaccessible reserves of oil and natural gas, making America’s production of both the highest in the world. Kevin Crowley And Rachel Adams-heard, Houston Chronicle, "Oil boom feels more like a bust in Texas shale patch," 13 Feb. 2020 At rallies throughout the state, Buttigieg told supporters that Sanders is offering a false choice between joining the revolution or keeping the status quo. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Buttigieg heads into Nevada as a front-runner. Will his lead hold in more diverse states?," 13 Feb. 2020 In the ’80s, with the Reagan revolution, gratuitous displays of wealth became popular again, and balls did, too. James Barron, New York Times, "The Debutante Ball in the Age of Instagram," 13 Feb. 2020 This reduces the cost of Ouster's lidar in much the same way that the microchip revolution enabled the creation of cheap personal computers in the 1970s. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How lidar makers are coping with slow progress of self-driving tech," 11 Feb. 2020 Scenic designer Alexander Dodge has done a wonderful job re-creating the ghostly ballrooms of tsarist Russia, the streets after the revolution and the dreamy city scenes and hopping clubs of 1920s Paris. Laura Demarco, cleveland, "‘Anastasia’ the Broadway musical soars at Playhouse Square in romantic, sumptuous production (review)," 6 Feb. 2020 This may seem like a less stirring call to action than the rhetoric of political revolution coming from fellow Democratic superstars, like Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) and 2020 presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Allegra Kirkland, Teen Vogue, "Stacey Abrams Talks 2020, AOC, and the Future of the Democratic Party," 3 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for revolution

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for revolution

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Revolution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/revolution?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=r&file=revolu02. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for revolution

revolution

noun
How to pronounce revolution (audio)

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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