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

  • intransitive v. To orbit a central point.
  • intransitive v. To turn on an axis; rotate. See Synonyms at turn.
  • intransitive v. To recur in cycles or at periodic intervals.
  • intransitive v. To be held in the mind and considered in turn.
  • intransitive v. To be centered: Their troubles revolve around money management.
  • transitive v. To cause to revolve.
  • transitive v. To ponder or reflect on.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To orbit a central point.
  • v. To turn on an axis.
  • v. To recur in cycles.
  • v. To ponder on, to reflect repeatedly upon, to consider all aspects of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To turn or roll round on, or as on, an axis, like a wheel; to rotate, -- which is the more specific word in this sense.
  • intransitive v. To move in a curved path round a center.
  • intransitive v. To pass in cycles.
  • intransitive v. To return; to pass.
  • transitive v. To cause to turn, as on an axis.
  • transitive v. Hence, to turn over and over in the mind; to reflect repeatedly upon; to consider all aspects of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To turn or roll about on an axis; rotate.
  • To move about a center; circle; move in a curved path; follow such a course as to come round again to a former place: as, the planets revolve about the sun.
  • To pass through periodic changes; return or recur at regular intervals; hence, to come around in process of time.
  • To pass to and fro in the mind; be revolved or pondered.
  • To revolve ideas in the mind; dwell, as upon a fixed idea; meditate; ponder.
  • To return; devolve again.
  • To turn or cause to roll round, as upon an axis.
  • To cause to move in a circular course or orbit: as, to revolve the planets in an orrery.
  • To turn over and over in the mind; ponder; meditate on; consider.
  • To turn over the pages of; look through; search.
  • n. A revolution; a radical change in political or social affairs.
  • n. A thought; a purpose or intention.

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

  • v. cause to move by turning over or in a circular manner of as if on an axis
  • v. turn on or around an axis or a center
  • v. move in an orbit


Middle English revolven, to change direction, from Old French revolver, to reflect upon, from Latin revolvere, to turn over, roll back, reflect upon : re-, re- + volvere, to roll; see wel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English revolven ("to change direction"), from Old French revolver ("to reflect upon"), from Latin revolvere, present active infinitive of revolvō ("turn over, roll back, reflect upon"), from re- ("back") + volvō ("roll"); see voluble, volve. (Wiktionary)


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