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

Their original five-man rotation is virtually down to just Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello., "“This is definitely the most,” said bullpen catcher Mike Brenly, who’s in charge of getting all the arms ready. “It’s definitely been a challenge trying to maneuver around and get guys warm. It keeps it fun. You never know when you’re name is going to be called. Crazy busy, but fun.”," 14 Sep. 2019 The Giants are adjusting their starting rotation and giving their fans an extra chance to watch Johnny Cueto pitch at home. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants keeping Bruce Bochy’s last game in mind with starting rotation changes," 12 Sep. 2019 If the Cubs stay on their normal five-man rotation, Darvish would pitch next Tuesday night against the Reds and against the National League Central-leading Cardinals on Sept. 22 and 28. Mark Gonzales,, "4 takeaways from the Cubs-Padres series, including Yu Darvish’s importance and Nico Hoerner’s quick start," 12 Sep. 2019 The Twins definitely have some problems with their starting rotation following the suspension of Michael Pineda and Kyle Gibson’s season-long bout with colitis. Paul Hoynes,, "Pressure: Can Cleveland Indians win enough of their last 18 games to make playoffs?," 9 Sep. 2019 All five starters in their opening-day rotation are currently on the injured list: Tyler Anderson, Chad Bettis, German Marquez, Jon Gray and Kyle Freeland. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Peter Lambert sticking in Rockies’ rotation, but is that the right call?," 3 Sep. 2019 Houser has been tremendous of late for a Brewers team that has seen its rotation decimated by injuries, going 2-0 with a 1.54 earned run average and 22 strikeouts in 23⅓ innings in four starts. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Adrian Houser is feeling better after some adjustments to his sore left hip," 28 Aug. 2019 Doctors will tell you that the most powerful aspects of medical school are their clinical rotations. Fortune, "How Learning Can Catch Up With Technological Change," 27 Aug. 2019 Despite an ugly stretch of starts, the Diamondbacks are sticking with right-hander Merrill Kelly in their starting rotation, opting against making yet another pitching adjustment in a month that has seen several. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks sticking with struggling Merrill Kelly in rotation," 25 Aug. 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

17 Sep 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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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