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

Martin was among a handful of prospects primed to impact the major league rotation, a list headlined by Forrest Whitley. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros pitching prospect Corbin Martin undergoes Tommy John surgery," 5 July 2019 That’s a quandary the Rockies will have to solve with the likes of journeyman Chi Gonzalez in the rotation, at least for now. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies’ suspect pitching must improve for realistic shot at postseason," 1 July 2019 That left a gaping hole in the guard rotation, which would be lacking the shooting, defense and shot creation Brogdon offered. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks to sign former Marquette standout Wesley Matthews to minimum contract," 1 July 2019 With Hamels down indefinitely due to a left oblique strain, Tyler Chatwood likely will return to the rotation, and the team probably will lean more on Montgomery as a long reliever. Mark Gonzales,, "Cubs pitcher Mike Montgomery ready to move on after latest woes," 29 June 2019 When healthy, Nwaba was a key piece of the Cavaliers’ rotation, playing out of position at times and often taking the toughest defensive assignment. Chris Fedor,, "Cleveland Cavaliers not extending qualifying offer to David Nwaba, still open to bringing him back in another deal, sources say," 28 June 2019 Services include flat tire repair, tire replacement, tire rotation, alignment checks and wheel rebalancing. Kara Carlson, Dallas News, "Startup that brings the tire shop to you expands to Dallas area," 28 June 2019 The geostationary, or GEOs, orbit in the same direction as Earth’s rotation, making them appear motionless in the sky. Andrew Blum, WIRED, "Inside the Room Where They Control the Weather Satellites," 25 June 2019 Despite the wild rotation, which would be enough to potentially cause a blackout, Armstrong was able to think quickly and use re-entry control system thrusters on the spacecraft's nose to regain control. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "What it takes to be an astronaut: the real 'right stuff'," 17 June 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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Statistics for rotation

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on rotation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rotation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rotation

Spanish Central: Translation of rotation

Nglish: Translation of rotation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rotation for Arabic Speakers

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).


to complain fretfully

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