ro·​ta·​tion | \rō-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of rotation 

1a(1) : the action or process of rotating on or as if on an axis or center

(2) : the act or an instance of rotating something

b : one complete turn : the angular displacement required to return a rotating body or figure to its original orientation

2a : return or succession in a series rotation of the seasons

b : crop rotation

3 : the turning of a body part about its long axis as if on a pivot

4 : a game of pool in which all 15 object balls are shot in numerical order

5 : the series of pitchers on a baseball team who regularly start successive games in turn

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Other Words from rotation

rotational \ rō-​ˈtā-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of rotation in a Sentence

the rotation of the Earth around its axis the rotation of the Moon around the Earth The Earth makes one rotation every day. Alfalfa and corn are planted in rotation. the rotation of the job of club president The car needs a tire rotation.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Just as Venus concludes its retrograde, Mercury begins its own reverse rotation. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's November Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 28 Oct. 2018 Here are the 11 beauty products that have now become a part of our daily grooming rotation. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "11 Beauty Products My Boyfriend Always Steals From Me," 22 Oct. 2018 As those glaciers gradually melted, the Earth springs back to its original position, messing up its rotation slightly in the process. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Humans Are Causing Earth to Wobble," 25 Sep. 2018 Since there's no better time than summer to shake up your rotation of shadows, use these looks as your inspo starting point — then go wild. Eden Univer, Seventeen, "4 Lemonade-Inspired Eyeshadow Looks from the Summer's Sweetest Palette," 16 July 2018 After that, the Padres’ third-year skipper will have to start rethinking his rotation. Jeff Sanders,, "Padres' Jordan Lyles 'sharp' in sim game as he nears return," 14 July 2018 Jon Lester wasn’t sure whether Major League Baseball or the Cubs decided he would be scratched from participating in the All-Star Game, but the decision gives the Cubs a more precise idea of how to set up their rotation for the second half. Mark Gonzales,, "Cubs pitcher Jon Lester's Sunday start means he won't pitch in All-Star game," 14 July 2018 Short hop Lovullo, who gave A.J. Pollock the day off on Friday, remains confident that his outfield rotation is going to pay off for the club. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' Torey Lovullo: Initial update on Shelby Miller’s elbow positive," 13 July 2018 Their rotation is a mess, the bullpen spotty, the hitting anemic. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "The State of the Royals, Part 1 of 2: How did they get here?," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rotation.' 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 rotation

circa 1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

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Statistics for rotation

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rotation

The first known use of rotation was circa 1550

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More Definitions for rotation



English Language Learners Definition of rotation

: the act or process of moving or turning around a central point

: a complete turn around a central point

: the act of regularly changing something by replacing it with something else


ro·​ta·​tion | \rō-ˈtā-shən \

Kids Definition of rotation

1 : the act of turning about an axis

2 : the system of growing different crops in the same field usually in a regular order


ro·​ta·​tion | \rō-ˈtā-shən \

Medical Definition of rotation 

: the action or process of rotating on or as if on an axis or center specifically : the turning of a body part about its long axis as if on a pivot rotation of the head to look over the shoulder

Other Words from rotation

rotational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl \ adjective

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Comments on rotation

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