[roh-teyt or, esp. British, roh-teyt]
See more synonyms for rotate 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.
  3. 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

1800–10; < Latin rotātus (past participle of rotāre to cause to spin, roll, move in a circle), equivalent to rot(a) wheel + -ātus -ate1
Related formsro·tat·a·ble, adjectivero·tat·a·bly, adverbnon·ro·tat·a·ble, adjectivenon·ro·tat·ing, adjectiveun·ro·tat·ed, adjectiveun·ro·tat·ing, adjective

Synonyms for rotate

See more synonyms for on
1. wheel, whirl. See turn. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rotating

Contemporary Examples of rotating

Historical Examples of rotating

British Dictionary definitions for rotating


  1. revolving around a central axis, line, or pointthe rotating blades of a helicopter
  2. passing in turn to each of two or more eligible partiesthe rotating presidency of the EU


verb (rəʊˈteɪt)
  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
  3. (of a position, presidency, etc) to pass in turn from one eligible party to each of the other eligible parties
  4. (of staff) to replace or be replaced in turn
adjective (ˈrəʊteɪt)
  1. botany designating a corolla the united petals of which radiate from a central point like the spokes of a wheel
Derived Formsrotatable, 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

Word Origin and History for rotating



1794, intransitive, back-formation from rotation. Transitive sense from 1823. Related: Rotated; rotating. Rotator "muscle which allows a part to be moved circularly" is recorded from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper