Definition of rotation in English:



  • 1The action of rotating about an axis or centre:

    ‘the moon moves in the same direction as the earth's rotation’
    [count noun] ‘several solar rotations’
    • ‘The volumetric elements are built up of large triangular planes that twist, giving the whole work a jagged sense of rotation.’
    • ‘Proper time for an ordinary mechanical clock is recorded by the number of rotations of the hands of the clock.’
    • ‘When we deal with a quantitative thing like rotations in pirouettes, that's fairly simple.’
    • ‘He'd been in the garden many times, but only to practice setting the solar panels for optimum output at peak hours during the rotation of planet, sun and station.’
    • ‘The earth moves around the sun in an orbit that is nearly a circle, and the axis of rotation of the earth maintains an effectively fixed direction.’
    • ‘Venus does have a very slow rotation: one day/night period takes 117 Earth days, but the cloud whizzes round in just four, and scientists so far have no explanation for it.’
    • ‘To determine the extent of their external rotation, dancers should stand in first position with straight knees and no rolling over.’
    • ‘This joint allows rotation to accommodate movement due to thermal expansion of the arches.’
    • ‘Manipulating it is simple enough thanks to an orb capable of 2D movement, zooming and rotation on both axes.’
    • ‘The base is equipped with three omni-wheels with independent control of rotation that allow movement in any direction.’
    • ‘He discovered the rotation of the earth on its axis and found in this the causes of day and night.’
    • ‘The tire being still in rotation, I applied more weight to the front now, and down we came towards the ground, utterly clearing the wall.’
    • ‘The ship slowly began its rotation to meet the triangle as the man turned and retreated back down the ramp.’
    • ‘In fact, the panels are modular and there is only one layout of folds, with variation introduced by random rotation.’
    • ‘It is built around the idea of rotation, an elemental movement shared by wheels, the Earth, steering wheels and wind turbines.’
    • ‘The rest of the station's ‘gravity’ is merely centripetal force from its rotation.’
    • ‘Loop as movement presupposes joint rotation between here and there, up and down, edge and center.’
    • ‘With the motion and rotation of Earth, the coordinates dance all around in a strange mess that is extremely difficult to untangle.’
    • ‘It'll take about 5-6 rotations counterclockwise to loosen the screws enough to remove the back panel.’
    • ‘Its chambers and tunnel will allow visitors to perceive the earth's rotation and its changing alignments with the stars.’
    revolving, turning, spinning, gyration, wheeling, whirling, twirling, swivelling, circling
    turn, revolution, spin, whirl, orbit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Mathematics The conceptual operation of turning a system about an axis.
    2. 1.2Mathematics
      another term for curl
  • 2The passing of a privilege or responsibility to each member of a group in a regularly recurring order:

    ‘it has become common for senior academics to act as heads of department in rotation’
    • ‘Gurkha battalions have been stationed there in rotation for the past twenty-five years.’
    • ‘She would get 1 and half weeks off of training and then be in regular rotation.’
    • ‘The leading seaman in each mess was called ‘the caterer’ and he chose ‘the cook-of-the-day’, a job that went by rotation.’
    • ‘The stands were always filled whenever it was your turn on the rotation.’
    • ‘Regular rotation of committee members assures a continuous source of new ideas and perspectives.’
    • ‘The Treaty of Nice provided that before the union's membership reached 27 members a decision would be taken on a smaller commission, based on equal rotation among the member states.’
    • ‘The two pieces are now joined together and are held in turn by each museum on a three year rotation.’
    • ‘During the first two years of the course, we'll do dissection weekly and living anatomy frequently: in the third year, on clinical rotation, we'll still be coming back into the DR to look at specific organs.’
    • ‘Winger's indecision faded as the klaxon went off, signaling shift rotation, and he bolted into action.’
    • ‘There are occasions where there are two Bards sharing the telling in rotation, enabling an even more embellished tale to be told.’
    • ‘If there are more than two players, they take turns in clockwise rotation, beginning with the player to dealer's left.’
    • ‘They must now live with the fact that from 2014 the Commission will be cut from 25 to 18, with each country taking a turn in rotation.’
    • ‘For successful implementation over time, the core team necessarily must expand, yet excessive rotation of new members early on may diminish success.’
    • ‘After Tito's death, the presidency was shared between the states in rotation.’
    • ‘Therefore rotation of tasks was feasible, and would prevent a status hierarchy developing on the basis of specialised roles.’
    • ‘Four bishops of the Church of Ireland, serving in rotation, also entered the Lords.’
    • ‘Any one set may be in play for more than one turn in rotation between the players.’
    • ‘The President of the European Council will now serve for two-and-a-half years, replacing the current six-monthly rotation.’
    • ‘Their substantial independence threatened republican tradition with its corporate government and brief periods of high office for individuals in rotation.’
    sequence, succession
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 The growing of different crops in succession on a piece of land to avoid exhausting the soil and to control weeds, pests, and diseases:
      ‘traditional practices such as crop rotation’
      • ‘To organic farmers, this is not crop rotation, indeed, this is what our certifier calls ‘crop oscillation’.’
      • ‘In the end, the open-field system of crop rotation was an obstacle to increased agricultural productivity.’
      • ‘With the traditional corn/soybean rotation, producers plant corn before soybeans for maximum corn yields.’
      • ‘The depletion process is accelerated, however, when cotton is grown in rotation with high K-requiring crops such as alfalfa and corn silage.’
      • ‘The use of summer fallow, crop rotation, and improved tillage were even less common than in Ontario.’
      • ‘The need for a cover crop for crusting control should decline after several cycles of a corn-soybean rotation because organic matter builds at the soil surface, which will tend to reduce crusting.’
      • ‘The cotton-flax crop rotation provides producers an alternative crop for traditionally dormant fields.’
      • ‘On about 9% of the land, the solution is a 3-year crop rotation, including both rice varieties and soybeans.’
      • ‘It appears that factors of fall moisture, winter exposure, leaf diseases, and early summer heat are larger than crop rotation and or tillage method.’
      • ‘His initial efforts were devoted to improving the condition of his fields and implementing a system of crop rotation which would build them up.’
      • ‘He farms an 830-acre varied crop rotation of corn, soybeans, hay, oats, wheat, and clover - all of which is certified organic.’
      • ‘Flax has been found to be a good candidate for growing in rotation with cotton in the Southeast, particularly along coastal areas.’
      • ‘Northern European farmers also began to experiment with the three-field system of crop rotation.’
      • ‘Forage soybeans also can be used as a one-year forage crop in rotation with corn.’
      • ‘Red rice density is modeled as a function of seed bank, emergence rate, and the kill rates associated with the crops in rotation.’
      • ‘Also, yields of corn increased 38 percent and wheat yields increased 81 percent when these crops were grown in rotation with cotton.’
      • ‘This, along with a diverse crop and cover crop rotation, seems to discourage the buildup of their populations.’
      • ‘Disease-resistant varieties, crop rotation, and tillage are especially important in management of wheat diseases.’
      • ‘After being in pasture, the land goes through a 4-year crop rotation including one year in beans.’
      • ‘He uses cow manure, green manure and crop rotation to ensure nutrient-rich soil for his rapeseed crop.’
    2. 2.2Forestry The cycle of growth and felling or cutting of trees:
      ‘short rotation forestry’
      [count noun] ‘a rotation of 60–80 years to provide valuable saw timber’
      • ‘Initial growth rates can be improved for higher assurance of success and shorter rotations.’
      • ‘Finally, the super tree would shorten the time required to grow to a merchantable size, thus reducing the time to the next rotation.’
      • ‘If the forest has a non-timber value, for instance, in terms of its recreation value or its value as a wildlife habitat, then this changes the socially optimal forest rotation.’
      • ‘In Canada, a seed's genetic worth is forecast at full rotation from ten-year field data.’
      • ‘The region also plays host to a large number of birches to add variety, a component that forest management plans aim to maintain past the current rotation.’
    3. 2.3US [count noun] A tour of duty, especially by a medical practitioner in training:
      ‘she was completing a rotation in trauma surgery’
      • ‘In my senior year, I was completing a clinical rotation in the OR with this nurse as my preceptor.’
      • ‘Classroom training is then combined with hands-on experience that includes a general rotation in every department of the company.’
      • ‘They focus on core programs in analytics, and then have a very experiential period - similar to the clinical rotations used in other professions.’
      • ‘She met her co-first year resident who would be sharing most of her rotations that year.’
      • ‘What are the biggest problems with keeping these troops on these extended rotations in very hostile environments?’
      • ‘Students from programs in other departments are on four-month rotations for up to five years.’
      • ‘Kate told Stephen how she got on the accelerated Medicine program at Boston University and that all of her rotations would transfer over to UIC except the ER.’
      • ‘Does the company have a policy of mandatory vacations and job rotations?’


Mid 16th century: from Latin rotatio(n-), from the verb rotare (see rotate).