• synonyms


[roh-tey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for rotation on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act of rotating; a turning around as on an axis.
  2. Astronomy.
    1. the movement or path of the earth or a heavenly body turning on its axis.
    2. one complete turn of such a body.
  3. regularly recurring succession, as of officials.
  4. Agriculture. crop rotation.
  5. Mathematics.
    1. an operation that rotates a geometric figure about a fixed point.
    2. curl(def 14).
  6. Pool. a game in which the balls are played in order by number.
  7. Baseball. pitching rotation.
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Origin of rotation

1545–55; < Latin rotātiōn- (stem of rotātiō) a rotation, rolling, equivalent to rotāt(us) (see rotate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsro·ta·tion·al, adjectivenon·ro·ta·tion, nounnon·ro·ta·tion·al, adjectiveun·ro·ta·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rotational

whirling, spinning, whirligig, revolving, vertiginous, gyral, gyratory, rotating, rotational, rotatory, rotary, rotative, vortical, vorticose

Examples from the Web for rotational

Historical Examples of rotational

  • The rotational speed of Earth at this latitude is seven-seven-eight.

    Space Tug

    Murray Leinster

  • The total, however, of the rotational moment of momentum of the system barely reaches two per cent.

    Time and Tide

    Robert S. (Robert Stawell) Ball

  • What, then, is the effect of the rotational velocity of the surface of the earth on the atmosphere near to it?

    Aether and Gravitation

    William George Hooper

  • This rotational motion is also found in the nebul and star clusters as well as in the stars and planets.

    Astronomy for Young Folks

    Isabel Martin Lewis

  • It is important to distinguish between two types of strain: the “rotational” type and the “irrotational” type.

British Dictionary definitions for rotational


  1. the act of rotating; rotary motion
  2. a regular cycle of events in a set order or sequence
  3. a planned sequence of cropping according to which the crops grown in successive seasons on the same land are varied so as to make a balanced demand on its resources of fertility
  4. maths
    1. a circular motion of a configuration about a given point or line, without a change in shape
    2. a transformation in which the coordinate axes are rotated by a fixed angle about the origin
    3. another name for curl (def. 11) Abbreviation (for sense 4c): rot
    1. the spinning motion of a body, such as a planet, about an internal axisCompare revolution (def. 5a)
    2. one complete turn in such motion
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Derived Formsrotational, 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 rotational


1852, from rotation + -al (1).

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1550s, from Latin rotationem (nominative rotatio) "a turning about in a circle," noun of action from past participle stem of rotare "turn round, revolve, whirl about, roll," from PIE *roto- (see rotary).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rotational in Medicine


  1. The act or process of turning around a center or an axis.
  2. Regular and uniform variation in a sequence or series, as in the recurrence of symptoms of a disease.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

rotational in Science


  1. The motion of an object around an internal axis.
  2. A single complete cycle of such motion. See Note at revolution.
  3. A transformation of a coordinate system in which the new axes have a specified angular displacement from their original position while the origin remains fixed.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.