1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.
  2. Sociology. a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence.Compare social evolution.
  3. a sudden, complete or marked change in something: the present revolution in church architecture.
  4. a procedure or course, as if in a circuit, back to a starting point.
  5. a single turn of this kind.
  6. Mechanics.
    1. a turning round or rotating, as on an axis.
    2. a moving in a circular or curving course, as about a central point.
    3. a single cycle in such a course.
  7. Astronomy.
    1. (not in technical use) rotation(def 2).
    2. the orbiting of one heavenly body around another.
    3. a single course of such movement.
  8. a round or cycle of events in time or a recurring period of time.
  9. Geology. a time of worldwide orogeny and mountain-building.

Origin of revolution

1350–1400; Middle English revolucion < Late Latin revolūtiōn- (stem of revolūtiō), equivalent to revolūt(us) (see revolute) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsan·ti·rev·o·lu·tion, adjectivenon·rev·o·lu·tion, nounpost·rev·o·lu·tion, adjectivepro·rev·o·lu·tion, adjectivesem·i·rev·o·lu·tion, noun
Can be confusedrebellion revolt revolution

Synonyms for revolution Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for non-revolution


  1. the overthrow or repudiation of a regime or political system by the governed
  2. (in Marxist theory) the violent and historically necessary transition from one system of production in a society to the next, as from feudalism to capitalism
  3. a far-reaching and drastic change, esp in ideas, methods, etc
    1. movement in or as if in a circle
    2. one complete turn in such a circlea turntable rotating at 33 revolutions per minute
    1. the orbital motion of one body, such as a planet or satellite, around anotherCompare rotation (def. 5a)
    2. one complete turn in such motion
  4. a cycle of successive events or changes
  5. geology obsolete a profound change in conditions over a large part of the earth's surface, esp one characterized by mountain buildingan orogenic revolution

Word Origin for revolution

C14: via Old French from Late Latin revolūtiō, from Latin revolvere to revolve
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

Word Origin and History for non-revolution



late 14c., originally of celestial bodies, from Old French revolucion "course, revolution (of celestial bodies)" (13c.), or directly from Late Latin revolutionem (nominative revolutio) "a revolving," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin revolvere "turn, roll back" (see revolve).

General sense of "instance of great change in affairs" is recorded from mid-15c. Political meaning "overthrow of an established political system" first recorded c.1600, derived from French, and was especially applied to the expulsion of the Stuart dynasty under James II in 1688 and transfer of sovereignty to William and Mary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

non-revolution in Science


  1. The motion of an object around a point, especially around another object or a center of mass.
  2. A single complete cycle of such motion.
Usage: In everyday speech revolution and rotation are often used as synonyms, but in science they are not synonyms and have distinct meanings. The difference between the two terms lies in the location of the central axis that the object turns about. If the axis is outside the body itself-that is, if the object is orbiting about another object-then one complete orbit is called a revolution. But if the object is turning about an axis that passes through itself, then one complete cycle is called a rotation. This difference is often summed up in the statement “Earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the Sun.”
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.