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See also: revolvé



From Middle English revolven (to change direction), borrowed 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.


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈvɒlv/
  • (file)


revolve (third-person singular simple present revolves, present participle revolving, simple past and past participle revolved)

  1. (Physical movement.)
    1. (transitive, now rare) To bring back into a particular place or condition; to restore. [from 15th c.]
    2. (transitive) To cause (something) to turn around a central point. [from 16th c.]
    3. (intransitive) To orbit a central point (especially of a celestial body). [from 17th c.]
      The Earth revolves around the sun.
    4. (intransitive) To rotate around an axis. [from 17th c.]
      The Earth revolves once every twenty-four hours.
      • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, OCLC 5661828:
        It is never possible to settle down to the ordinary routine of life at sea until the screw begins to revolve. There is an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy.
    5. (intransitive) To move in order or sequence. [from 17th c.]
      The program revolves through all the queues before returning to the start.
  2. (Mental activity.)
    1. (transitive, now rare) To ponder on; to reflect repeatedly upon; to consider all aspects of. [from 15th c.]
      • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Letter 82:
        These are the difficulties which arise to me on revolving this scheme […].
      • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, Bk.2, Ch.6, Monk Samson:
        He sits silent, revolving many thoughts, at the foot of St. Edmund’s Shrine.
    2. (transitive, obsolete) To read through, to study (a book, author etc.). [15th–19th c.]
      • 1671, John Milton, Paradise Regain'd:
        This having heard, strait I again revolv’d / The Law and Prophets.

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]


revolve (plural revolves)

  1. (theater) The rotation of part of the scenery within a theatrical production.
  2. (theater) The rotating section itself.
    • 2003, Gary Philip Cohen, The Community Theater Handbook (page 134)
      [] a revolving stage, two-level platforms stage left and stage right, and a large bridge that connected the platforms midstage, twelve feet up off the revolve.
  3. (obsolete) A radical change; revolution.





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of revolvō




  1. Third-person singular (ele, ela, also used with tu and você?) present indicative of revolver
  2. Second-person singular (tu) affirmative imperative of revolver