re·​volve | \ ri-ˈvälv How to pronounce revolve (audio) , -ˈvȯlv also -ˈväv or -ˈvȯv\
revolved; revolving

Definition of revolve

transitive verb

1 : to turn over at length in the mind : ponder revolve a scheme
2a obsolete : to cause to go round in an orbit

intransitive verb

1 : recur
2a : to ponder something
b : to remain under consideration ideas revolved in his mind
3a : to move in a curved path round a center or axis
b : to turn or roll round on an axis
4 : to have or come to a specified focus : center usually used with around the dispute revolved around wages

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from revolve

revolvable \ ri-​ˈväl-​və-​bəl How to pronounce revolvable (audio) , -​ˈvȯl-​ also  -​ˈvä-​və-​ or  -​ˈvȯ-​və-​ \ adjective

Examples of revolve in a Sentence

As the gear revolves, it turns the other gears. The Earth revolves on its axis. The software allows you to revolve images.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Effectively, Dropbox wants to become a nexus for all sorts of different apps and services that all revolve around file management. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Dropbox’s new software extensions let you easily edit files on the web," 6 Nov. 2018 Mostly Turkish or Kurdish-run, around 20,000 kebab shops are scattered across the U.K. in total—all easily identifiable, thanks to the trunk of meat that slowly revolves on a skewer in the window. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Love Letter To The Döner Kebab," 1 Oct. 2018 More than anything, this school has created a very strong community that shares a deep culture of joy in learning, a community that revolves around respect and care for students, not just for their future, but for them, right now. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "How one Maryland high school successfully boosted minority student enrollment in advanced classes," 10 July 2018 Guilfoilye’s rise put her at odds with another ambitious assistant district attorney at the time — Kamala Harris, who traveled in the same Pacific Heights social circle that revolved around the wealthy Getty family., "Kimberly Guilfoyle — SF’s former first lady — now spends time at White House," 8 July 2018 It’s touted as the first Disney ride that revolves around Mickey Mouse. Dewayne Bevil,, "Toy Story Land: What else is in works for Disney's Hollywood Studios," 28 June 2018 Characters find joy in small moments that often revolve around food or the solace of a single shift drink. Emily Gray Tedrowe, USA TODAY, "Family drama is on the menu in spicy "Number One Chinese Restaurant"," 18 June 2018 What if there’s a reason teams that revolve around a traditional post, like the Clippers, Pistons and Grizzlies, didn’t even make the playoffs? Greg Moore, azcentral, "Moore: The talk is Deandre Ayton, but what if Luka Doncic is the guy?," 9 June 2018 Now, with the open slot, this show that revolves around four adults in three houses raising three kids after two divorces — together has a shot. Niki Mcgloster,, "The Quick Read: Shonda Rhimes Says Roseanne Barr Got Exactly What She Deserves," 30 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of revolve

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for revolve

Middle English, from Latin revolvere to roll back, cause to return, from re- + volvere to roll — more at voluble

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about revolve

Statistics for revolve

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for revolve

The first known use of revolve was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for revolve



English Language Learners Definition of revolve

: to turn around a center point or line


re·​volve | \ ri-ˈvälv How to pronounce revolve (audio) , -ˈvȯlv\
revolved; revolving

Kids Definition of revolve

1 : to move in an orbit Planets revolve around the sun.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on revolve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for revolve

Spanish Central: Translation of revolve

Nglish: Translation of revolve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of revolve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on revolve

What made you want to look up revolve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!