Definition of rotation in US English:



  • 1The action of rotating around an axis or center.

    ‘the moon moves in the same direction as the earth's rotation’
    • ‘Proper time for an ordinary mechanical clock is recorded by the number of rotations of the hands of the clock.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The base is equipped with three omni-wheels with independent control of rotation that allow movement in any direction.’
    • ‘Its chambers and tunnel will allow visitors to perceive the earth's rotation and its changing alignments with the stars.’
    • ‘Loop as movement presupposes joint rotation between here and there, up and down, edge and center.’
    • ‘In fact, the panels are modular and there is only one layout of folds, with variation introduced by random rotation.’
    • ‘The volumetric elements are built up of large triangular planes that twist, giving the whole work a jagged sense of rotation.’
    • ‘The ship slowly began its rotation to meet the triangle as the man turned and retreated back down the ramp.’
    • ‘The rest of the station's ‘gravity’ is merely centripetal force from its rotation.’
    • ‘Manipulating it is simple enough thanks to an orb capable of 2D movement, zooming and rotation on both axes.’
    • ‘It'll take about 5-6 rotations counterclockwise to loosen the screws enough to remove the back panel.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With the motion and rotation of Earth, the coordinates dance all around in a strange mess that is extremely difficult to untangle.’
    • ‘To determine the extent of their external rotation, dancers should stand in first position with straight knees and no rolling over.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is built around the idea of rotation, an elemental movement shared by wheels, the Earth, steering wheels and wind turbines.’
    • ‘This joint allows rotation to accommodate movement due to thermal expansion of the arches.’
    revolving, turning, spinning, gyration, wheeling, whirling, twirling, swivelling, circling
    turn, revolution, spin, whirl, orbit
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    1. 1.1 The action or system of rotating crops.
      • ‘His initial efforts were devoted to improving the condition of his fields and implementing a system of crop rotation which would build them up.’
      • ‘This, along with a diverse crop and cover crop rotation, seems to discourage the buildup of their populations.’
      • ‘With the traditional corn/soybean rotation, producers plant corn before soybeans for maximum corn yields.’
      • ‘On about 9% of the land, the solution is a 3-year crop rotation, including both rice varieties and soybeans.’
      • ‘Flax has been found to be a good candidate for growing in rotation with cotton in the Southeast, particularly along coastal areas.’
      • ‘Forage soybeans also can be used as a one-year forage crop in rotation with corn.’
      • ‘To organic farmers, this is not crop rotation, indeed, this is what our certifier calls ‘crop oscillation’.’
      • ‘Also, yields of corn increased 38 percent and wheat yields increased 81 percent when these crops were grown in rotation with cotton.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After being in pasture, the land goes through a 4-year crop rotation including one year in beans.’
      • ‘In the end, the open-field system of crop rotation was an obstacle to increased agricultural productivity.’
      • ‘Red rice density is modeled as a function of seed bank, emergence rate, and the kill rates associated with the crops in rotation.’
      • ‘Northern European farmers also began to experiment with the three-field system of crop rotation.’
      • ‘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 cotton-flax crop rotation provides producers an alternative crop for traditionally dormant fields.’
      • ‘Disease-resistant varieties, crop rotation, and tillage are especially important in management of wheat diseases.’
      • ‘He uses cow manure, green manure and crop rotation to ensure nutrient-rich soil for his rapeseed crop.’
      • ‘He farms an 830-acre varied crop rotation of corn, soybeans, hay, oats, wheat, and clover - all of which is certified organic.’
      • ‘It appears that factors of fall moisture, winter exposure, leaf diseases, and early summer heat are larger than crop rotation and or tillage method.’
    2. 1.2Forestry The cycle of growth and felling or cutting of trees.
      • ‘In Canada, a seed's genetic worth is forecast at full rotation from ten-year field data.’
      • ‘Initial growth rates can be improved for higher assurance of success and shorter rotations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3 The passing of a privilege or responsibility from one member of a group to another in a regularly recurring succession.
      ‘it has become common for senior academics to act as heads of department in rotation’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For successful implementation over time, the core team necessarily must expand, yet excessive rotation of new members early on may diminish success.’
      • ‘Therefore rotation of tasks was feasible, and would prevent a status hierarchy developing on the basis of specialised roles.’
      • ‘Gurkha battalions have been stationed there in rotation for the past twenty-five years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The two pieces are now joined together and are held in turn by each museum on a three year rotation.’
      • ‘Their substantial independence threatened republican tradition with its corporate government and brief periods of high office for individuals in rotation.’
      • ‘After Tito's death, the presidency was shared between the states in rotation.’
      • ‘The stands were always filled whenever it was your turn on the rotation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are occasions where there are two Bards sharing the telling in rotation, enabling an even more embellished tale to be told.’
      • ‘Winger's indecision faded as the klaxon went off, signaling shift rotation, and he bolted into action.’
      • ‘The leading seaman in each mess was called ‘the caterer’ and he chose ‘the cook-of-the-day’, a job that went by rotation.’
      • ‘Four bishops of the Church of Ireland, serving in rotation, also entered the Lords.’
      • ‘Regular rotation of committee members assures a continuous source of new ideas and perspectives.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She would get 1 and half weeks off of training and then be in regular rotation.’
      • ‘If there are more than two players, they take turns in clockwise rotation, beginning with the player to dealer's left.’
      sequence, succession
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4US A tour of duty, especially by a medical practitioner in training.
      ‘she was completing a rotation in trauma surgery’
      • ‘Classroom training is then combined with hands-on experience that includes a general rotation in every department of the company.’
      • ‘Does the company have a policy of mandatory vacations and job rotations?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In my senior year, I was completing a clinical rotation in the OR with this nurse as my preceptor.’
      • ‘Students from programs in other departments are on four-month rotations for up to five years.’
      • ‘What are the biggest problems with keeping these troops on these extended rotations in very hostile environments?’
    5. 1.5Mathematics The conceptual operation of turning a system around an axis.
    6. 1.6Mathematics
      another term for curl (sense 4 of the noun)


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