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[roh-teyt or, esp. British, roh-teyt] /ˈroʊ teɪt or, esp. British, roʊˈteɪt/
verb (used with object), rotated, rotating.
to cause to turn around an axis or center point; revolve.
to cause to go through a cycle of changes; cause to pass or follow in a fixed routine of succession:
to rotate farm crops.
to replace (a person, troops, etc.) by another or others, usually according to a schedule or plan.
verb (used without object), rotated, rotating.
to turn around on or as if on an axis.
to proceed in a fixed routine of succession:
The sentries rotated in keeping watch.
1800-10; < Latin rotātus (past participle of rotāre to cause to spin, roll, move in a circle), equivalent to rot(a) wheel + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
rotatable, adjective
rotatably, adverb
nonrotatable, adjective
nonrotating, adjective
unrotated, adjective
unrotating, adjective
1. wheel, whirl. See turn.


[roh-teyt] /ˈroʊ teɪt/
wheel-shaped: applied especially to a gamopetalous short-tubed corolla with a spreading limb.
1775-85; < Latin rot(a) wheel + -ate1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rotate
  • It does not rotate alone, a situation that could conceivably result in having side tables at one's feet.
  • In the newly created position, which is designed to rotate among leaders in the entertainment-software.
  • The house's ability to rotate is thus limited only by the length of the hoses at full stretch.
  • When they are formed, neutron stars rotate in space.
  • Your point that a disk appears to rotate in opposite directions from above or below is exactly the point.
  • With the click of a mouse, you can rotate the fossils to get a view from any angle.
  • rotate pots periodically so sunlight reaches all sides.
  • When the music stops, the students in the inner ring stand up and rotate to the next partner.
  • The spheres have to be dispersed in some form of liquid medium if they are to rotate.
  • rotate agricultural crops to prevent the sapping of nutrients.
British Dictionary definitions for rotate


verb (rəʊˈteɪt)
to turn or cause to turn around an axis, line, or point; revolve or spin
to follow or cause to follow a set order or sequence
(of a position, presidency, etc) to pass in turn from one eligible party to each of the other eligible parties
(of staff) to replace or be replaced in turn
adjective (ˈrəʊteɪt)
(botany) designating a corolla the united petals of which radiate from a central point like the spokes of a wheel
Derived Forms
rotatable, adjective
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 rotate

1794, intransitive, back-formation from rotation. Transitive sense from 1823. Related: Rotated; rotating. Rotator "muscle which allows a part to be moved circularly" is recorded from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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