[ roh-teyt or, especially British, roh-teyt ]
See synonyms for: rotaterotatedrotating on

verb (used with object),ro·tat·ed, ro·tat·ing.
  1. to cause to turn around an axis or center point; revolve.

  2. to cause to go through a cycle of changes; cause to pass or follow in a fixed routine of succession: to rotate farm crops.

  1. to replace (a person, troops, etc.) by another or others, usually according to a schedule or plan.

verb (used without object),ro·tat·ed, ro·tat·ing.
  1. to turn around on or as if on an axis.

  2. to proceed in a fixed routine of succession: The sentries rotated in keeping watch.

Origin of rotate

First recorded in 1800–10; from Latin rotātus (past participle of rotāre “to cause to spin, roll, move in a circle”), equivalent to rot(a) “wheel” + -ātus-ate1

synonym study For rotate

1. See turn.

Other words for rotate

Other words from rotate

  • ro·tat·a·ble, adjective
  • ro·tat·a·bly, adverb
  • non·ro·tat·a·ble, adjective
  • non·ro·tat·ing, adjective
  • un·ro·tat·ed, adjective
  • un·ro·tat·ing, adjective

Words Nearby rotate

Other definitions for rotate (2 of 2)

[ roh-teyt ]

  1. wheel-shaped: applied especially to a gamopetalous short-tubed corolla with a spreading limb.

Origin of rotate

1775–85; <Latin rot(a) wheel + -ate1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rotate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rotate


  1. to turn or cause to turn around an axis, line, or point; revolve or spin

  2. to follow or cause to follow a set order or sequence

  1. (of a position, presidency, etc) to pass in turn from one eligible party to each of the other eligible parties

  2. (of staff) to replace or be replaced in turn

  1. botany designating a corolla the united petals of which radiate from a central point like the spokes of a wheel

Derived forms of rotate

  • 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