from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To turn around on an axis or center. synonym: turn.
  • intransitive verb To proceed in sequence; take turns or alternate.
  • intransitive verb To cause to turn on an axis or center.
  • intransitive verb To plant or grow (crops) in a fixed order of succession.
  • intransitive verb To cause to alternate or proceed in sequence.
  • adjective Having radiating parts; wheel-shaped.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In botany, wheel-shaped; spreading out nearly flat like a wheel: as, the limb of a rotate corolla, calyx, etc.: usually applied to a gamopetalous corolla with a short tube.
  • In zoology, wheel-shaped; rotiform; specifically, in entomology, noting hairs, spines, etc., when they form a ring around any organ or part, projecting at right angles to the axis.
  • To revolve or move round a center or axis; turn in a circle, as or like a wheel; have a continuous circular motion.
  • To turn in a curve upon a center or support; have a revolving motion from side to side or up and down; specifically, in anatomy, to be rotated; execute one or any of the movements of rotation.
  • To go round in succession, as in or among a revolving or a repeating series; alternate serially; especially, to act or pass in rotation, as a set of office-holders or an office.
  • To cause to revolve upon an axis or upon a support; give a circular or curvilinear movement to; turn in a curve: as, to rotate a cylinder by hand; to rotate the head or the eyes.
  • To move or change about in a series or in rotation; cause to succeed in a serial or recurrent order: as, to rotate certain men in the tenure of an office.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having the parts spreading out like a wheel; wheel-shaped
  • intransitive verb To turn, as a wheel, round an axis; to revolve.
  • intransitive verb To perform any act, function, or operation in turn, to hold office in turn.
  • intransitive verb To cause to turn round or revolve, as a wheel around an axle.
  • intransitive verb colloq. To cause to succeed in turn; esp., to cause to succeed some one, or to be succeeded by some one, in office.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive to spin, turn, or revolve.
  • verb intransitive to advance through a sequence; to take turns.
  • verb intransitive, of aircraft to lift the nose, just prior to takeoff.
  • verb transitive to spin, turn, or revolve something.
  • verb transitive to advance something through a sequence.
  • verb transitive to replace older materials or to place older materials in front of newer ones so that older ones get used first.
  • verb transitive, of crops to grow or plant in a certain order.

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

  • verb turn on or around an axis or a center
  • verb turn outward
  • verb exchange on a regular basis
  • verb cause to turn on an axis or center
  • verb plant or grow in a fixed cyclic order of succession
  • verb perform a job or duty on a rotating basis


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

[Latin rotāre, rotāt-, from rota, wheel; see ret- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin rotātus, perfect passive participle of rotō ("revolve"), from rota ("wheel").


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  • Also an adjective: shaped like a wheel.

    November 14, 2007