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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.
Origin of rotate1
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rotating
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A more useful kind is made just like a rotating brush, and has to be mounted on a lathe (Fig. 91).

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • They don't fall into each other because they are rotating about each other.

    Islands of Space John W Campbell
  • The continuous mixer without automatic feed consists simply of a trough with a rotating paddle shaft and its driving mechanism.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • And they used their rotating magnetic field, which we couldn't feel.

    The Ultimate Weapon John Wood Campbell
  • Subsequent changes involved the rotating of the cylinder instead of the wheels and many modifications in the form of the wheels.

    Inventions in the Century William Henry Doolittle
British Dictionary definitions for rotating


revolving around a central axis, line, or point: the rotating blades of a helicopter
passing in turn to each of two or more eligible parties: the rotating presidency of the EU


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 rotating



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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