Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, causing, or characterized by rotation, especially axial rotation.
  • n. A part or device that rotates around an axis.
  • n. Chiefly New England See traffic circle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having or being capable of having rotation.
  • n. A traffic circle.
  • n. Usually with a capital initial, short for Rotary movement, an international club for community service.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Turning, as a wheel on its axis; pertaining to, or resembling, the motion of a wheel on its axis; rotatory.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Rotating; turning round and round, as a wheel on its axis; having or characterized by rotation: as, rotary animalcules; rotary motion.
  • Acting or held in rotation, as officers or an office; turn-about; rotating.
  • In metal-working, a serrated rotary steel tool used on a mandrel in a lathe for operating upon a piece of metal presented to it and fed toward it on a slide-rest or other analogous movable support.
  • In wood-working: A rotary chisel-edged cutter fastened to a cutter-head, or one of a gang of cutters so attached, used to cut away superfluous wood in shaping irregular forms, as in the manufacture of hames for harness, of fellies for wagon-wheels, of curved chair-legs, etc. A solid steel tool having rotating cutting edges, in the nature of a burring-tool or router, used in carving-machines for cutting ornamental figures in intaglio. In working upon wood with rotary cutters, the cutter-head shafts or cutter-spindles are sometimes carried by movable bearings, and guided after the manner of a tracing-point or stylus in a pantograph. In other machines the bearings of the cutter-head shafts or spindles are stationary, and the work is itself guided and moved to produce the required shape or pattern. See bur, 4 , and router. Compare also shaper and shaping-machine.
  • A valve which makes complete and successive revolutions, thus alternately bringing its port or ports into continuity and discontinuity with a port or ports in its seat. This kind of valve has been but little used.
  • n. In electricity, a rotary converter.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. electrical converter consisting of a synchronous machine that converts alternating to direct current or vice versa
  • n. a road junction at which traffic streams circularly around a central island
  • adj. relating to or characterized by rotation
  • adj. describing a circle; moving in a circle

Etymologies

Medieval Latin rotārius, from Latin rota, wheel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • "If a liquid has not what we call rotary power both halves of the double disk appear of the same tint," he explained.

    The Treasure-Train

  • The turbo-cycle rotary is an engine with a very low part count and high power density.

    Sustainable Design Update » Blog Archive

  • In the original show, Smart had a built in rotary-dial telephone in his shoe that he would use to contact CONTROL.

    Get Smart's Shoe Phone Video Contest « FirstShowing.net

  • In the East Indies, and on the coast of India, these storms are known as Cyclones, because of their rotary motion -- the Greek word _Ruklos_, from which "Cyclone" is derived, meaning "_a whirl_".

    A Full Description of the Great Tornado in Chester County, Pa.

  • Indeed, Dembski often misses out the word rotary so the specificational resources to be used in the calculation would appear to depend on what mood he’s in.

    Detecting design: Specification versus Likelihood - The Panda's Thumb

  • You can speed up the job by using a small handheld power device called a rotary tool, but it must be equipped with a special grout-removal bit.

    Do-it-yourselfer Q&A

  • An engineer and manufacturer by profession, and a wealthy man, Wilford was another freethinker and aviation entrepreneur who bubbled with enthusiasm for the idea of rotary wing aircraft.

    The Dream Machine

  • This is because pulse (aka rotary) digits are created by causing breaks in the DC current (see Basic Telcom V).

    The Official Phreaker's Manual V1.1 by The Jammer and Jack the Ripper Part II

  • However, IITA's farming systems program has designed a very effective rolling punch planter (called a rotary injection planter, see illustration) that can be built in any workshop with welding and metal-shearing capabilities and is being manufactured by Geest Overseas Mechanization Ltd.,

    Chapter 8

  • At this point dissensions arose in the management of the company with regard to the method of drilling, the suggestion being made that a combination drilling machinery comprising what is known as the rotary process be adopted in combination with the old cable rig style.

    Santo Domingo A Country with a Future

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