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

Before going on the disabled list May 11 with a lower back strain, Tillman went 1-5 with a 10.46 ERA in seven starts with the Orioles, putting his rotation spot in jeopardy. Katherine Fominykh,, "Orioles notes: Chris Tillman a possibility for Sunday start against Rangers," 14 July 2018 Buchholz is expected to step into Miller’s vacated rotation spot. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks' Torey Lovullo: Initial update on Shelby Miller’s elbow positive," 13 July 2018 And then there's Matt Moore, who lost his rotation spot and is now the long reliever. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Growing group believes Beltre would nix a trade," 1 July 2018 Assuming Smith is placed on the DL, the Marlins will almost certainly call up a starter from the minors to fill his rotation spot. Clark Spencer, miamiherald, "Marlins cap off winning trip but lose another pitcher in the process," 24 June 2018 Highlights Comparison: E’Twaun Moore Milton likely won’t find a full-time point guard role but should be able to fill a rotation spot as a sharp-shooting combo-guard off the bench. Jake Fischer,, "2018 NBA Draft: Shake Milton Scouting Report and Highlights," 15 June 2018 Boone said the Yankees would not have to fill Tanaka’s rotation spot until Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Wallace Matthews, New York Times, "Yankees Say Masahiro Tanaka May Be Out for Weeks After a Base-Running Injury," 9 June 2018 Five-star freshman EJ Montgomery and returning starter Nick Richards are already locked into two of the post rotation spots next season. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Will these UK players return next season? It's NBA draft decision day," 30 May 2018 With Chase Anderson poised to return from the disabled list and start on Monday and Zach Davies coming off a strong minor-league rehab outing, rotation spots all of a sudden are at a premium on a team that's been hitting on all cylinders lately. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "No decisions yet about Freddy Peralta's status with the Brewers," 20 May 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

17 Sep 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

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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