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[roh-tey-shuh n] /roʊˈteɪ ʃən/
the act of rotating; a turning around as on an axis.
  1. the movement or path of the earth or a heavenly body turning on its axis.
  2. one complete turn of such a body.
regularly recurring succession, as of officials.
Agriculture, crop rotation.
  1. an operation that rotates a geometric figure about a fixed point.
  2. curl (def 17).
Pool. a game in which the balls are played in order by number.
Baseball. pitching rotation.
1545-55; < Latin rotātiōn- (stem of rotātiō) a rotation, rolling, equivalent to rotāt(us) (see rotate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
rotational, adjective
nonrotation, noun
nonrotational, adjective
unrotational, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rotation
  • In empire, there was an alternative: incompetent rulers could be removed, and there was a rotation of people.
  • Similarly, her rotation slows when she extends her arms at the conclusion of the spin.
  • When the moon is farther away, the axis rotation kind of gets behind the moon's orbital motion.
  • When a pitcher throws a knuckleball, the ball has no rotation and appears to flutter.
  • Convention puts the angular velocity vector along the axis of rotation.
  • The first is that caused directly by the spoon: the rotation of the tea around a vertical axis at the centre of the cup.
  • They propose instead that its rotation slowed to a standstill and then reversed direction.
  • Note that this moment of inertia calculation depends on the location of the axis of rotation.
  • Though the rotation takes only a few seconds, the overall image will be blurred if the patient moves.
  • It seemed to me that there must be some fundamental misconception involved in this galaxy rotation problem.
British Dictionary definitions for rotation


the act of rotating; rotary motion
a regular cycle of events in a set order or sequence
a planned sequence of cropping according to which the crops grown in successive seasons on the same land are varied so as to make a balanced demand on its resources of fertility
  1. a circular motion of a configuration about a given point or line, without a change in shape
  2. a transformation in which the coordinate axes are rotated by a fixed angle about the origin
  3. another name for curl (sense 11) Abbreviation (for sense 4c) rot
  1. the spinning motion of a body, such as a planet, about an internal axis Compare revolution (sense 5a)
  2. one complete turn in such motion
Derived Forms
rotational, 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 rotation

1550s, from Latin rotationem (nominative rotatio) "a turning about in a circle," noun of action from past participle stem of rotare "turn round, revolve, whirl about, roll," from PIE *roto- (see rotary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rotation in Medicine

rotation ro·ta·tion (rō-tā'shən)

  1. The act or process of turning around a center or an axis.

  2. Regular and uniform variation in a sequence or series, as in the recurrence of symptoms of a disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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rotation in Science
  1. The motion of an object around an internal axis.

  2. A single complete cycle of such motion. See Note at revolution.

  3. A transformation of a coordinate system in which the new axes have a specified angular displacement from their original position while the origin remains fixed.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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