Definition of revolve in English:


Line breaks: re|volve
Pronunciation: /rɪˈvɒlv


[no object]
1Move in a circle on a central axis: overhead, the fan revolved slowly
More example sentences
  • Imagine a fly walking across a man's head as the man strolls down the aisle of a speeding train as the earth revolves on its axis and circles round the sun in a rapidly expanding universe.
  • Its body revolves in a complete circle while its wheels stay put.
  • The crowd is dancing to an Israeli classic, revolving in a giant circle, arms around each other's shoulders.
1.1 (revolve about/around) Move in a circular orbit around: the earth revolves around the sun
More example sentences
  • Thousands of galaxies revolve about its center, moving in every possible orbit like bees circling a beehive.
  • The world is seen as a giant clod around which the heavens revolve about a polar axis.
  • A third type of double stars involves a pair of stars revolving about their common center of mass in an orbit whose plane passes through or very near the Earth.
circle, go, travel, orbit, gyrate, circulate, loop, wheel
rare encircle
1.2 (revolve around) Treat as the most important element: her life revolved around her husband
More example sentences
  • An important element of the case revolves around which party initially contacted the other.
  • It would have all the commercial elements with a storyline revolving around college students.
  • The bulk of my professional practise has revolved around assessing and treating traumatized individuals.
be concerned with, be preoccupied with, be absorbed in, focus on, concentrate on, centre around, hang on, rely on, rest on, pivot on
1.3 [with object] Consider (something) repeatedly and from different angles: her mind revolved the possibilities
More example sentences
  • For all of which reasons, I didn't sleep particularly well last night, and found my mind revolving the problem of the island.
  • I revolved these circumstances in my mind, and determined thenceforth to apply myself more particularly to those branches of natural philosophy which relate to physiology.
  • Its symphonic narrative revolves six characters through six ages of man - from the 19th century to distant millennia - then brings them full circle as each one completes their interrupted history.
think about, give thought to, consider, reflect on, mull over, contemplate, study, meditate on, muse on, think over, think on, deliberate about/on, cogitate about/on, dwell on, brood on/over, agonize over, worry about, ruminate about/on/over, chew over, puzzle over, speculate about, weigh up, review, turn over
archaic pore on


late Middle English (in the senses 'turn (the eyes) back', 'restore', 'consider'): from Latin revolvere, from re- 'back' (also expressing intensive force) + volvere 'roll'.

Definition of revolve in: