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ro teIt
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part of speech: verb
inflections: rotates, rotating, rotated
definition 1: to cause to turn around on an axis.
I rotated the globe to find South America.
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roll, spin, turn, wheel
similar words:
circle, pivot, reel, swivel, twirl, twist, whirl, wind
definition 2: to replace according to planned cycles.
The coach rotated the players to give everyone a chance to play.
similar words:
stagger, switch
definition 3: to turn on or around a fixed point.
Spin the top to make it rotate.
revolve, roll
similar words:
circle, pivot, spin, swivel, twirl, whirl
definition 4: to change in a certain order; take turns.
The nurses on duty rotated every eight hours.
similar words:
proceed, progress, take turns
derivation: rotatable (adj.)
Language Note
Rotate and revolve are often confused. Both of these words describe the motion of Earth and other planets, moons, and stars.

Rotate means to spin around an axis.

Earth rotates completely in about 24 hours. Each rotation is one day.

Revolve means to travel in a curved path around a central object.

Earth revolves around the sun in about 365.25 days. Each revolution is one year.
Word Builder: rotate +
  • rotating:
    spinning; turning on a fixed point.
Word Explorer
  outer space, space
Word Parts  About this feature
The word rotate contains the following parts:
rot Latin root that means turn
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-ate1 Latin verb-forming suffix that means to make, cause, do
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The suffix -ate primarily forms transitive verbs from Latin bases. Many -ate verbs were loanwords from Latin. Verbs ending in -ate combine with the suffix -ion to form nouns ending in -ation. These verbs also have corresponding agent nouns ending in -ator (navigator, dictator, elevator).