Definition of revolution in English:



  • 1A forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favour of a new system.

    ‘the country has had a socialist revolution’
    • ‘Neither of those things would have been any different, had they had a revolution in favour of democratic government instead of communist.’
    • ‘Immediately after a revolution or a dramatic change of government there are some exuberant examples of patriotic art.’
    • ‘I was trying to start a workers' revolution in Glasgow.’
    • ‘No one is urged to dwell on the fact that the day's fireworks displays are symbolic of an armed revolution against tyranny and colonialism.’
    • ‘In 1979 the US-backed dictator in Nicaragua, Antonio Somoza, was overthrown by a popular revolution.’
    • ‘The clearest example was in Russia in the successful workers' revolution in 1917.’
    • ‘Some of these revolutions were socialist, others capitalist; all were strongly nationalist.’
    • ‘By the end of the war, Woodrow Wilson hoped for a liberal revolution in Germany, whereas the Bolsheviks anticipated a socialist revolution.’
    • ‘In 1848 the British establishment watched in horror as revolution swept across Europe.’
    • ‘They regard the 1917 Russian revolution as merely a capitalist revolution overthrowing feudalism.’
    • ‘In 1924, when the Turkish revolution overthrew the Ottomans, the caliphate was abolished.’
    • ‘Young believers in the Fascist revolution began to turn towards Communism as an alternative.’
    • ‘Simultaneous revolutions and uprisings erupted in several countries across Europe.’
    • ‘This was necessitated by the severe economic problems the country faced in the aftermath of the civil war and the defeat of socialist revolutions in Europe.’
    • ‘There was enormous economic and social unrest, a weak parliamentary system and the fear of a socialist revolution.’
    • ‘The vortex of wars and revolutions swept away all paper evidence of his education.’
    • ‘The 1979 revolution overthrew a vicious dictatorial regime supported by the West.’
    • ‘The Iranian Islamic revolution also must be understood in all its complexity.’
    • ‘23 years later, in 1917, the Russian Revolution inspired other revolutions and uprisings throughout Europe.’
    rebellion, revolt, insurrection, mutiny, uprising, riot, rioting, rising, insurgence, insurgency, coup, overthrow, seizure of power, regime change
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    1. 1.1(in Marxism) the class struggle which is expected to lead to political change and the triumph of communism.
      ‘when I grew up it was the Marxism that was very strong, it was like the revolution was coming next week’
      • ‘They, too, saw a need to keep the Kadets on the side of the Revolution.’
      • ‘How can a party whose principles rest on an international workers' revolution advance socialist policies in a bourgeois political system?’
      • ‘Want to do your bit for the Revolution and stand up for the kids?’
      • ‘The workers' revolution would thus usher in a lasting age of genuine Utopia.’
      • ‘So without further ado, grab your hard hat and let the revolution begin!’
      • ‘Louis was now a prisoner of the Revolution and an enemy of the Revolution.’
      • ‘But the Revolution has not yet fulfilled its tasks.’
      • ‘All that is required to subvert the revolution is to put a for sale sign up in front of its symbols, at which point it is assimilated.’
      • ‘My father was adamant that change could not come about without a violent revolution and a proletarian dictatorship.’
      • ‘Violent revolution to overthrow the capitalist system in favour of complete social justice will follow.’
      • ‘As you've pointed out in many of your articles, the revolution against the capitalist plutocracy is largely a war of words and ideas at this point.’
      • ‘Ikea will be first up against the wall when the Revolution comes, hopefully.’
      • ‘For an organisation that claims to lead the world revolution, they have nothing.’
      • ‘They also claim to be bringing about a new world order… a revolution of sorts.’
      • ‘In Cuba, Elián was hailed as the child-hero of the Revolution.’
      • ‘Here's a new addition to the List of People Who Will Be Up Against the Wall When the Revolution Comes.’
    2. 1.2A dramatic and wide-reaching change in conditions, attitudes, or operation.
      ‘marketing underwent a revolution’
      • ‘The molecular genetics revolution of the 1960s swept up many of the brightest young minds.’
      • ‘The materials revolution led to a dramatic and sudden decrease in the cost of building bridges up to 1000m in span a decade ago, and as a consequence we have seen these new kinds of bridges cropping up everywhere.’
      • ‘Infinite Data Storage is now close to starting another technological revolution in digital recording technology.’
      • ‘In the women's game, an even greater revolution of sorts was sprung.’
      • ‘The technological computer telecommunications revolution is equally responsible.’
      • ‘Identifying the structure of DNA triggered a revolution in biology that is still continuing today.’
      • ‘The civil rights revolution of the 1960s presents the relevant object lesson.’
      • ‘Most of Ireland missed out on the first industrial revolution of the late eighteenth century.’
      • ‘A revolution in military affairs suggests a fundamental change in all aspects of warfare.’
      • ‘The tools of the much-hyped communications and information technology revolution bring people closer together and drive them further apart.’
      • ‘While there may be a few scattered news operations that the revolution has not yet touched, the profession has undergone a technological transformation.’
      • ‘Record companies have finally begun to embrace the digital revolution started by the first incarnation of Napster.’
      • ‘This is also a cultural question, and Nigeria needs as much a revolution in attitudes and thinking as it does in new legislation or new measures.’
      • ‘The sexual revolution has swept up young adults in a perilous tailspin.’
      • ‘But as in TV, the digital revolution is coming in radio.’
      • ‘Rapid technological advances have also fueled the revolution in business affairs.’
      • ‘After utterly destroying the once thriving Indian textile industry, Britain sparked its own industrial revolution.’
      • ‘Who are the innovators leading the next tech revolution?’
      • ‘The book helped to spark a cultural revolution.’
      • ‘The arts and crafts movement began in Britain in reaction to the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century.’
      dramatic change, radical change, drastic alteration, radical alteration, complete shift, sea change, metamorphosis, transformation, conversion, innovation, breakaway
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  • 2An instance of revolving.

    ‘one revolution a second’
    • ‘In initial tests, some of the biomolecular motors spun their propellers for more than two hours, at eight revolutions per second.’
    • ‘Most millisecond pulsars hover around the 300 revolutions per second mark, and the fastest spinning pulsar ever detected clocked in at 641 rps.’
    • ‘The Blazer also has a maximum power of 138 horsepower at 5,600 revolutions per minute (rpm).’
    • ‘AFT's Bob Brooks noted that with a standard hat, the rpm of the engine at the track's top end is 300 revolutions faster than the driveshaft.’
    • ‘It is important that a vehicle's wheels make a complete revolution, i.e., turn full circle over the material.’
    • ‘The starter motor spun the crankshaft through a few revolutions, easily resisting the cold, gluey oil that clings to the bearings and cylinder walls.’
    • ‘I was amazing to see a stadium wave last two complete revolutions.’
    • ‘The core of the bowling ball, coupled with the revolutions and rotation one applies, determines where the track is.’
    • ‘Once it had completed a full revolution (ie moved forward 26 places), it would kick the middle rotor forward one position.’
    • ‘In theory, pulsars could remain intact at speeds as high as 1,000 to 3,000 revolutions per second.’
    • ‘Get the biggest you can afford, with at least 7,200 revolutions per minute.’
    • ‘From statistical analysis of 11 pulsars, they concluded that the maximum speed seen in nature must be below 760 revolutions per second.’
    • ‘Spinning the sample a million or more revolutions per minute does the job.’
    • ‘The car is fitted with a six-speed close ratio gearbox but thanks to the high amount of torque developed at low revolutions, the car should be very flexible.’
    • ‘When you have a hamster in your head than runs on its wheel at 300 revolutions a second, you certainly don't have to plan your stand-up act.’
    • ‘The researchers initiated this process by feeding their rotors with ATP, and saw them revolve under the microscope at around five revolutions per second.’
    • ‘Details were recorded of the number of steps taken per minute, the number of hours that the convicts turned the wheel, the height of the steps, the number of revolutions turned in a day, and certain other data.’
    • ‘After completing a number of revolutions, the carousel began to slow and came to a stop.’
    • ‘I was able to complete a few tumbling revolutions before collapsing into a skidding heap.’
    • ‘So if, for example, W = 2, that means that the diameter of the tube after a single revolution is twice what it was one whorl before.’
    single turn, turn, rotation, circle, whirl, twirl, spin, wheel, roll, round, cycle, circuit, lap
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    1. 2.1[mass noun]The movement of an object in a circular or elliptical course around another or about an axis or centre.
      ‘revolution about the axis of rotation’
      • ‘He explained eclipses, solstices and equinoxes, announced the sphericity of the earth and its diurnal revolution on its axis.’
      • ‘He noted that if the bob was drawn back and released then it followed an elliptical path, and moreover the major axis rotated in the direction of revolution exactly as did the apsides of the moon's orbit.’
      • ‘In this work Dionysodorus calculates the volume of a torus and shows that it is equal to the product of the area of the generating circle with the length of the circle traced by its centre rotating about the axis of revolution.’
      • ‘The Earth's tides are mainly created by the force of the Moon's orbit, along with the Earth's own revolution and gravitational pull from the Sun.’
      • ‘There are three distinct types of spiric surfaces depending whether the axis of revolution cuts the circle, it a tangent to the circle, or is outside the circle.’
      • ‘Since the original papers the shape of the stalk was not calculated but rather postulated to be the figure of revolution of a circular arc.’
      • ‘This was due to an erroneous assumption, i.e., that the stalk has a figure of revolution of a circular arc.’
      • ‘Earth has also tidally locked the Moon, leaving it with identical periods of rotation on its axis and revolution around Earth.’
      • ‘He determined the least angular velocity about its axis for which steady motion of a solid of revolution can be stable.’
      turning, gyration, rotation, circumrotation, wheeling, turning around, circling, whirling, twirling, spinning, swivelling, rolling, orbital motion, orbiting, orbit
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    2. 2.2A single orbit of one object around another or about an axis or centre.
      ‘near the solar equator the sun takes about 26 days to complete one revolution’
      • ‘The chambers, furthermore, would all move, the lowest completing a revolution once a year, the second once a month, the uppermost once a day.’
      • ‘We on Earth get to see the same side of the Moon as its rotational period around its axis and revolution period around the Earth are the same.’
      • ‘Krazy Krab attaches numbers to the days, making the world turning on its axis, each revolution, incredibly important.’
      • ‘It stayed in orbit around the Moon for 20 hours, and made ten revolutions of our only satellite.’
      • ‘The moon completes its revolution around the earth in exactly 29.5 days, an astronomical phenomenon as certain as the day after night until the day of the Qiyamah.’
      • ‘For example, the Hilda asteroids circle the Sun three times for every two revolutions of Jupiter.’
      • ‘Before I do this, I have to revisit science concepts and make sure I understand orbits, rotations, revolutions and seasons.’
      • ‘This almost certainly indicates that Sedna is spinning, completing a revolution every 20 days.’
      • ‘He believed that the tides are caused by the periodic reinforcement and opposition of two motions of the Earth - its annual revolution around the sun and its daily rotation on its axis.’
      • ‘How long does it take the International Space Station to complete a revolution of the earth?’
      • ‘This can be rounded up to 2.5 years per sign or 30 years for one revolution around the zodiac.’
      • ‘Eight years after the transit the Venus would have completed almost exactly 12 full revolutions of the sun.’
      • ‘Since the rotations and revolutions of the moon were different from Earth, an artificial sky, sun, and moon were set up to simulate Earth.’
      • ‘A complete revolution of the earth takes approximately 24 hours.’
      • ‘Later the revolution of the planet Jupiter was also used in Hindu astronomy.’
      • ‘The third day concerned the earth's annual motion around the sun, and of course certain phenomena involving both the daily rotation and the annual revolution.’
      • ‘He orders us into his Landrover and we skid across the causeway, the water rising with every revolution of the wheels, splashing above the windscreen.’
      • ‘For the number of revolutions of the apsis and node of the moon per mahayuga, Aryabhata I proposed 488219 and 232226, respectively.’
      • ‘Each year is still equivalent to the sidereal period of the Earth, one revolution around the Sun.’
      • ‘My stomach dropped out from underneath me more than once as we were thrown up in the air and even completed a full revolution.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from late Latin revolutio(n-), from revolvere roll back (see revolve).