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[ri-volv] /rɪˈvɒlv/
verb (used without object), revolved, revolving.
to move in a circular or curving course or orbit:
The earth revolves around the sun.
to turn around or rotate, as on an axis:
The wheel revolves slowly.
to proceed or occur in a round or cycle; come around again in the process of time; recur.
to be revolved in the mind.
to focus or center on.
verb (used with object), revolved, revolving.
to cause to turn around, as on an axis.
to cause to move in a circular or curving course, as about a central point.
to think about; consider.
Origin of revolve
1350-1400; Middle English revolven < Latin revolvere to roll back, equivalent to re- re- + volvere to roll, turn round
Related forms
revolvable, adjective
revolvably, adverb
unrevolved, adjective
Can be confused
revolve, rotate.
1. orbit, circle. 2. See turn. 8. ponder, study. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for revolve
  • The scholarship in such books seems invariably to revolve.
  • Many diplomatic dealings these days also revolve around terror.
  • Bedouins' lives revolve around the search for a water source.
  • The planets all revolve around the sun in the same direction and in virtually the same plane.
  • Discussions frequently revolve around names for the cleaner and its perceived gender.
  • No longer does it revolve around whether the research is ethical.
  • We also need to remember that the world does not revolve around any one adult.
  • Senate and gubernatorial races tend to revolve around local issues and personalities.
  • The rest of the particles and objects continued to revolve around the sun, colliding with each other in clumps.
  • But horsemanship here does not revolve around bull riding or steer wrestling.
British Dictionary definitions for revolve


to move or cause to move around a centre or axis; rotate
(intransitive) to occur periodically or in cycles
to consider or be considered
(intransitive; foll by around or about) to be centred or focused (upon): Juliet's thoughts revolved around Romeo
(theatre) a circular section of a stage that can be rotated by electric power to provide a scene change
Derived Forms
revolvable, adjective
revolvably, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin revolvere, from re- + volvere to roll, wind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for revolve

late 14c., "to change direction, bend around, turn (the eyes) back," from Old French revolver and directly from Latin revolvere "roll back, unroll, unwind; happen again, return; go over, repeat," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + volvere "to roll" (see volvox). In 15c., "to turn over (in the mind or heart), meditate." Meaning "travel around a central point" first recorded 1660s (earlier "cause to travel in an orbit around a central point," mid-15c.). Related: Revolved; revolving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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