View synonyms for revolution


[ rev-uh-loo-shuhn ]


  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.

    Synonyms: rotation, round, circuit, cycle

  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.


/ ˌrɛvəˈluːʃən /


  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 circle

      a turntable rotating at 33 revolutions per minute

    1. the orbital motion of one body, such as a planet or satellite, around another Compare rotation
    2. one complete turn in such motion
  4. a cycle of successive events or changes
  5. obsolete.
    geology a profound change in conditions over a large part of the earth's surface, esp one characterized by mountain building

    an orogenic revolution

“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


/ rĕv′ə-lo̅o̅shən /

  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.

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Other Words From

  • anti·revo·lution adjective
  • nonrev·o·lution noun
  • postrev·o·lution adjective
  • prorev·o·lution adjective
  • semi·revo·lution noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of revolution1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English revolucion, from Late Latin revolūtiōn-, stem of revolūtiō “rollback, rotation”; equivalent to revolute + -ion
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Word History and Origins

Origin of revolution1

C14: via Old French from Late Latin revolūtiō , from Latin revolvere to revolve
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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.”
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Example Sentences

This argument now is largely dead, thanks to the fracking revolution, which has greatly expanded US oil and gas production.

Yes, everything changed with the computing revolution, as we’ll hear in a minute.

Back in January, I wrote a big story for Fortune about the ongoing revolution in natural language processing.

From Fortune

One of the biggest barriers to the renewable energy revolution is working out how to store power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Some experts insist that gene editing has the potential to spark a new food revolution.

What had been the greatest asset of the paperback revolution,” observes Rabinowitz, “became its greatest danger.

That Stone would slander the democratic, pro-Western, EuroMaidan revolution as a CIA coup is no surprise.

The New York governor was the foremost Democrat to stand athwart the Reagan Revolution.

In response, the April Revolution protests erupted in much of the country.

After the Iranian Revolution, discrimination took on a sectarian flavor.

All over the world the just claims of organized labor are intermingled with the underground conspiracy of social revolution.

He will tell you about the success he had in America; it quite makes up for the defeat of the British army in the Revolution.

He joined the army at the outbreak of the revolution, and continued in it until it was disbanded.

This may be called the first day of the revolution, although the object of the meeting was to prevent such a catastrophe.

Among the middle class there was a strong party which had accepted the doctrines of the French Revolution.