ro·​ta·​tor ˈrō-ˌtā-tər How to pronounce rotator (audio)
 also  rō-ˈtā-
: one that rotates or causes rotation
especially, plural rotators or rotatores ˌrō-tə-ˈtȯr-ˌēz How to pronounce rotator (audio) : a muscle that partially rotates a part on its axis

Examples of rotator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to Department of Public Health staff attorney Aden Baume, in August 2019 Shia began surgery on a patient’s left hip, detaching rotator muscles, before realizing he was supposed to be operating on the right hip. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 21 Feb. 2023 Bungie is also planning to add an exotic mission rotator in season 22 so that classic missions are rotated on a weekly basis, similar to how raids are today. Tom Warren, The Verge, 13 Feb. 2023 This will help protect your shoulders and rotator cuffs in the long term. Brett Williams, Men's Health, 11 Jan. 2023 Patients often injure their rotator cuffs by playing sports like baseball or tennis, lifting something too heavy too quickly, receiving a blow or injury to their shoulder or even from tendon degeneration, which can be caused by aging. Dallas News, 15 Nov. 2022 This approach of enhanced self-healing with help from biologics could one day work to heal meniscus tears in the knee, or rotator-cuff injuries in the shoulder, Drs. Aylin Woodward, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2022 Climbers regularly suffer rotator-cuff tears, tendonitis, trigger finger syndrome (where the finger locks in bent position), and a bouldering injury called subluxation, where a jarring hang causes the shoulder’s ball joint to detach from its socket. Dan Roe, Outside Online, 25 Oct. 2016 This lightweight exercise gives you an opportunity to dial in on your rotator cuffs. Jeff Tomko, Men's Health, 16 Nov. 2022 Samuel notes that the core, rhomboids, and rotator cuffs will also likely get involved. Jeff Tomko, Men's Health, 2 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rotator.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1659, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rotator was in 1659

Dictionary Entries Near rotator

Cite this Entry

“Rotator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


ˈrō-ˌtāt-ər also rō-ˈ
plural rotators or rotatores ˌrōt-ə-ˈtōr-ēz How to pronounce rotator (audio)
: a muscle that partially rotates a part on its axis
specifically : any of several small muscles in the dorsal region of the spine arising from the upper and back part of a transverse process and inserted into the lamina of the vertebra above
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