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verb (used without object), re·volved, re·volv·ing.
  1. to move in a circular or curving course or orbit: The earth revolves around the sun.
  2. to turn around or rotate, as on an axis: The wheel revolves slowly.
  3. to proceed or occur in a round or cycle; come around again in the process of time; recur.
  4. to be revolved in the mind.
  5. to focus or center on.
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verb (used with object), re·volved, re·volv·ing.
  1. to cause to turn around, as on an axis.
  2. to cause to move in a circular or curving course, as about a central point.
  3. to think about; consider.
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Origin of revolve

1350–1400; Middle English revolven < Latin revolvere to roll back, equivalent to re- re- + volvere to roll, turn round
Related formsre·volv·a·ble, adjectivere·volv·a·bly, adverbun·re·volved, adjective
Can be confusedrevolve rotate1


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. orbit, circle. 2. See turn. 8. ponder, study.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for revolve


  1. to move or cause to move around a centre or axis; rotate
  2. (intr) to occur periodically or in cycles
  3. to consider or be considered
  4. (intr ; foll by around or about) to be centred or focused (upon)Juliet's thoughts revolved around Romeo
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  1. theatre a circular section of a stage that can be rotated by electric power to provide a scene change
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Derived Formsrevolvable, adjectiverevolvably, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Latin revolvere, from re- + volvere to roll, wind
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 revolve


late 14c., "to change direction, bend around, turn (the eyes) back," from Old French revolver and directly from Latin revolvere "roll back, unroll, unwind; happen again, return; go over, repeat," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + volvere "to roll" (see volvox). In 15c., "to turn over (in the mind or heart), meditate." Meaning "travel around a central point" first recorded 1660s (earlier "cause to travel in an orbit around a central point," mid-15c.). Related: Revolved; revolving.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper