ro·​ta·​tion | \ rō-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce rotation (audio) \

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
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from rotation

rotational \ rō-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce rotation (audio) , -​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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web It’s in my family’s regular take-out rotation for tacos, enchiladas and burritos. Mara Severin, Anchorage Daily News, "Spicy takeout is getting our dining reviewer through winter. Here are her favorite orders.," 25 Feb. 2021 The rotation goes nine deep, and seven players average at least 7.8 points. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs host Boise State in battle of first vs. second in Mountain West," 24 Feb. 2021 Auburn’s backcourt rotation was so stressed without Cooper and Powell that Pearl even turned to walk-ons Lior Berman and Preston Cook for limited runs to buy some rest for Johnson and Flanigan. Tom Green |, al, "Sharife Cooper’s injury another difficult blow to Auburn during trying season," 24 Feb. 2021 But with centers James Wiseman and Kevon Looney back from injury, Kerr doesn’t have enough minutes available for all his rotation-caliber players. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Why Juan Toscano-Anderson, Mychal Mulder are out of Warriors' rotation," 24 Feb. 2021 So the question becomes: At what stage of the season do the Heat consider moving forward with Avery behind Nunn in the backcourt rotation? Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Has Kendrick Nunn changed the Heat narrative?," 24 Feb. 2021 Signed near the end of training camp, Harrison had hoped to serve as a defensive specialist in the Jazz’s rotation. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Second half of Utah Jazz’s schedule is released; Donovan Mitchell to take part in 3-Point Shootout," 24 Feb. 2021 One position that might see rotation is goalkeeper. Julia Poe,, "USWNT aims to clinch SheBelieves Cup against Argentina," 24 Feb. 2021 The Spurs’ guard rotation, however, arrives in OKC in tatters. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Ready or not, Spurs' COVID-halted season set to resume," 23 Feb. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of rotation

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rotation

Time Traveler for rotation

Time Traveler

The first known use of rotation was circa 1550

See more words from the same year

Statistics for rotation

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rotation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce rotation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce rotation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce rotation (audio) \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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