top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce rotate (audio)

Dictionary definition of rotate

To turn or pivot an object around an axis or fixed point.
"The planets rotate around the sun in elliptical orbits."

Detailed meaning of rotate

When something rotates, it moves in a circular or curved path, typically in a repetitive or cyclical manner. This movement can be either clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on the context. Rotation is a fundamental concept in physics and is commonly observed in various domains, such as mechanics, astronomy, and everyday life. For instance, a spinning top rotates as it twirls on its tip, the Earth rotates on its axis to create day and night, and a rotating fan circulates air in a room. In summary, to rotate means to spin, revolve, or turn an object around a central point or axis.

Example sentences containing rotate

1. The Earth and the moon rotate around each other in space.
2. The blades of the windmill rotate in the breeze.
3. The gears rotate smoothly, allowing the machine to function properly.
4. The tires of the car rotate as it moves forward.
5. The ceiling fan blades rotate slowly, creating a gentle breeze.
6. The hands on the clock rotate clockwise, indicating the passing of time.

History and etymology of rotate

The verb 'rotate' derives its etymology from the Latin word 'rotatus,' which is the past participle of 'rotare.' This Latin term means 'to turn in a circle' or 'to revolve.' The root of 'rotare' can be traced back to the Proto-Indo-European word '*wrótwos,' which also relates to turning or twisting. This evolution of the word reflects the concept of spinning or turning around an axis or fixed point, which is central to the meaning of 'rotate.' Whether it's the rotation of the Earth on its axis or simply turning an object, this term's etymology emphasizes the circular motion or revolution that characterizes the action of rotating.

Quiz: Find the meaning of rotate

Try Again!


Further usage examples of rotate

1. The dancer's body starts to rotate gracefully to the rhythm of the music.
2. The planets in our solar system rotate around the sun.
3. The helicopter's rotor blades rotate rapidly, lifting it off the ground.
4. The Earth's axis causes it to rotate on its axis once every 24 hours.
5. The cyclist's legs rotate in a continuous motion as they pedal.
6. The propeller on the boat rotates quickly, propelling it forward.
7. The figure skater begins to rotate faster and faster, performing a spinning jump.
8. The blender's blades rotate at high speeds to blend the ingredients together.
9. The wind causes the wind vane to rotate, indicating the direction of the wind.
10. The drill bit rotates as it bores into the wood.
11. The satellite in orbit rotates around the Earth, collecting data.
12. The potter's wheel allows the clay to rotate as the artist shapes it into a vase.
13. The merry-go-round at the park starts to rotate, delighting the children.
14. The camera lens can rotate to adjust the focus and capture the perfect shot.



spin, stay, remain still, fix


ACT 5 (American College Testing), High School 15, Movement and Flow

bottom of page