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

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Other Words from rotation

rotational \ rō-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce rotational (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Homicide detectives have a monthly rotation of being on-call for all weekend nights. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "How Cleveland police managed to solve more murders in 2019 than previous years despite detective shortage," 1 Feb. 2020 Looney’s return should help shore up a center rotation that has largely relied on Marquese Chriss and Omari Spellman since the Warriors traded Willie Cauley-Stein to Dallas last week. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors’ Kevon Looney to return from ab injury vs. Cavaliers," 1 Feb. 2020 Given Howard's occasional deployment of a nine-man rotation, this could be a game in which freshman Cole Bajema (who has appeared in five games) plays. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball at Nebraska: Scouting report, prediction," 27 Jan. 2020 The Guard announced Monday that 115th Military Police Company had been deployed as part of a scheduled rotation of deployments overseas, The Providence Journal reported. USA TODAY, "Giga roller coaster, ‘granny’ centennial, lion cubs born, Parker the cat passes away: News from around our 50 states," 24 Jan. 2020 Their defense has to get after Aaron Rodgers just like last time, and with a healthier front the 49ers will have a fresh-legged rotation to do so. Sam Farmerstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "NFC championship game prediction: San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers," 19 Jan. 2020 Because the doll is meant to be held in a child’s hand before takeoff, the blades build from a slow rotation to liftoff, ensuring that there aren’t any surprise and potentially injurious sudden bursts of blade speed. Popular Science, "Flying toys that will enthrall your kids," 15 Jan. 2020 Behind these statistics are men like Capitaine Vincent Cordary, the head of a seventy-two-person unit of the Gendarmerie Nationale sent to Mayotte on a three-month rotation after a stint battling the Gilets Jaunes back home. Tommy Trenchard, Harper's magazine, "Oceans Apart," 6 Jan. 2020 My wife was on rotation with my brother, her mom came in, my mother-in-law was there. Helen Murphy,, "Kevin Hart Says He's '65 to 75 Percent' Recovered 3 Months After Car Accident," 11 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for rotation

Time Traveler

The first known use of rotation was circa 1550

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Statistics for rotation

Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rotation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for rotation


How to pronounce rotation (audio)

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 rotational (audio) \ adjective

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