[roh-tey-shuh n]


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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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



the act of rotating; rotary motion
a regular cycle of events in a set order or sequence
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
  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
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).



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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for rotational




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

Science definitions for rotational



The motion of an object around an internal axis.
A single complete cycle of such motion. See Note at revolution.
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.