Definition of revolve in English:



  • 1 Move in a circle on a central axis:

    ‘overhead, the fan revolved slowly’
    • ‘Slowly Violet revolved to face her mother and Morgana threw her a feeble smile as she answered softly,’
    • ‘He would be revolving in his grave if he knew about Monster Tajima!’
    • ‘In this position, we were also able to observe her extraordinary versatility as she performed amazing feats of balance as the stage slowly revolved.’
    • ‘Imagine a fly walking across a man's head as the man strolls down the aisle of a speeding train as the earth revolves on its axis and circles round the sun in a rapidly expanding universe.’
    • ‘Can repairs be effected to a satellite revolving in its orbit?’
    • ‘Alain looked back at the lamp now revolving in a slow circle and casting a focused light far and deep across the seas.’
    • ‘Kate whispered softly as they revolved slowly in a circle to the slow song.’
    • ‘A snapping behind me made me jump, and I wished for a weapon, any weapon, as I revolved slowly on the spot.’
    • ‘The crowd is dancing to an Israeli classic, revolving in a giant circle, arms around each other's shoulders.’
    • ‘Cass leaned forwards and looked at it carefully as the three-dimensional image revolved slowly on the screen.’
    • ‘I slowly revolved in a circle and eventually saw a figure materialize.’
    • ‘The video ends with a view from on high: the wagon circles counterclockwise on a circular stage, which revolves in the opposite direction.’
    • ‘Size reduction is achieved by fixed or swinging beater arms revolving at speed within a chamber.’
    • ‘There were only five blossoms going in circles, rotating and revolving, on top of the clear glass.’
    • ‘Think of a kaleidoscope slowly revolving on a pedestal, slower than human fingers can turn it.’
    • ‘Instantly, a three-dimensional image sprung up from the page and started to revolve slowly on the spot.’
    • ‘The orbit of Mercury, a planet positioned about 36 million miles from the Sun, slowly revolves in the plane of the solar system.’
    • ‘Its body revolves in a complete circle while its wheels stay put.’
    • ‘The 360 Degrees Restaurant, known for its rich ambience, is the only revolving restaurant in the Caribbean.’
    • ‘If the suspect ivory is held up to a light source so that the stripes are visible and then revolved slowly horizontally through 90 degrees, the light and dark stripes on genuine ivory will become less pronounced or disappear.’
    go round, turn round, rotate, spin, whirl, pirouette, wheel
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    1. 1.1revolve about/around Move in a circular orbit around:
      ‘the earth revolves around the sun’
      • ‘The comet is now revolving around the Sun every 6.6 years on an elliptical orbit with a low inclination compared to that of the Earth.’
      • ‘Fleischer might just as well have complained that the press believes the Earth revolves around the sun.’
      • ‘Aristotle famously proposed that as the heavens revolve about the Earth, the planets move in circles.’
      • ‘The old Ptolemaic view that the Earth stood still, and that all the planets, stars, and the Moon and Sun, revolved about the Earth, provides us with very complex views of the paths of those bodies.’
      • ‘The Sun, with all those planets revolving around it, and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else in the Universe to do.’
      • ‘One way to understand this is to imagine the electrons to be whizzing round the nuclei in an ‘orbital’ that is similar to rather like the orbits of the planets revolving around the Sun.’
      • ‘Simple accounts of the Solar System often start by saying that the Earth orbits the Sun, and as it does so the Moon revolves around the Earth.’
      • ‘His almanac tables, showing the moon and Earth with the planets revolving about the sun, met the test of expert observation as well as the old Earth-centered tables had.’
      • ‘Galileo's observations showed that the four moons revolved around Jupiter, not Earth.’
      • ‘A third type of double stars involves a pair of stars revolving about their common center of mass in an orbit whose plane passes through or very near the Earth.’
      • ‘The church excommunicated people who said that the earth revolved around the sun.’
      • ‘Remember we are way ahead of the ancients, who thought that the rest of the universe revolved around the Earth.’
      • ‘A geostationary orbit is a circular orbit in the equatorial plane, any point on which revolves about the Earth in the same direction and with the same period as the Earth's rotation.’
      • ‘Thousands of galaxies revolve about its center, moving in every possible orbit like bees circling a beehive.’
      • ‘William discovered over 800 double stars and showed that many of them revolve around each other.’
      • ‘The world is seen as a giant clod around which the heavens revolve about a polar axis.’
      • ‘These stars are whipping around the black hole in much the same way as planets in our Solar System are revolving around the Sun.’
      • ‘Early in January 1610 he discovered four satellites revolving about Jupiter, contradicting the idea of natural philosophers that the earth was the centre of all celestial motions.’
      • ‘Many planets have been found revolving around stars outside the Solar System.’
      • ‘If he told you that the world revolved around the sun in orbit, you'd have to think about if for a while before you agreed.’
      circle, go, travel, orbit, gyrate, circulate, loop, wheel
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    2. 1.2revolve around Treat as the most important element:
      ‘her life revolved around her husband’
      • ‘Amphris was a little untrusting some times, especially when issues of trust revolved around such important and delicate matters as the one at hand.’
      • ‘For a while, an important corporate worldview revolved around quality.’
      • ‘An important element of the case revolves around which party initially contacted the other.’
      • ‘According to Brunt, urban public life revolves mainly around watching and being watched.’
      • ‘The bulk of my professional practise has revolved around assessing and treating traumatized individuals.’
      • ‘My campaign will revolve around this theme in the lead-up to the polls on Dec.1.’
      • ‘The conversation usually revolves around questions about episcopal leadership and the role of the laity.’
      • ‘There have been scores of films revolving around the vampire theme.’
      • ‘It would have all the commercial elements with a storyline revolving around college students.’
      • ‘The storylines often revolve around the needs of the wrestlers.’
      • ‘In the lower weight classes, the world still revolves around Oscar.’
      • ‘Debates on the authority of texts, however, still revolve around the question of who dies first.’
      • ‘One important dispute revolved around Marx and the leading anarchist Bakunin.’
      • ‘His phone conversations haven't revolved solely around bringing in players.’
      • ‘Frankly, the whole discussion revolves around who has the authority to order the use of these drugs.’
      • ‘Excellence in journalism revolves around the key concepts of transparency, accountability, objectivity and credibility.’
      • ‘I would have laughed if this conversation weren't revolving around him being a murderer.’
      • ‘‘The strong emphasis is revolving around treating people as individuals - not just people in the Royal Navy, but families as well,’ he said.’
      • ‘However, his life now revolves mainly around his work.’
      • ‘The most important rituals revolve around the cycle of ancestral and royal observances.’
      be concerned with, be preoccupied with, be absorbed in, focus on, concentrate on, centre around, hang on, rely on, rest on, pivot on
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    3. 1.3[with object] Consider (something) repeatedly and from different angles:
      ‘her mind revolved the possibilities’
      • ‘The articles inside this book contain opinions revolving the topic of sex/passion in films of today and yesteryear.’
      • ‘I revolved these circumstances in my mind, and determined thenceforth to apply myself more particularly to those branches of natural philosophy which relate to physiology.’
      • ‘He writes a tidbit/gossip column and the source for most of it revolves happenings with the International Broadcast Centre, NBC or Channel 7.’
      • ‘For all of which reasons, I didn't sleep particularly well last night, and found my mind revolving the problem of the island.’
      • ‘Over here, the philosophers revolved their ethical problems.’
      • ‘Its symphonic narrative revolves six characters through six ages of man - from the 19th century to distant millennia - then brings them full circle as each one completes their interrupted history.’
      think about, give thought to, consider, reflect on, mull over, contemplate, study, meditate on, muse on, think over, think on, deliberate about, deliberate on, cogitate about, cogitate on, dwell on, brood on, brood over, agonize over, worry about, ruminate about, ruminate on, ruminate over, chew over, puzzle over, speculate about, weigh up, review, turn over
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Late Middle English (in the senses ‘turn (the eyes) back’, ‘restore’, ‘consider’): from Latin revolvere, from re- back (also expressing intensive force) + volvere roll.