- Revolution Rev`o*lu"tion, n. [F. r['e]volution, L. revolutio.
1. The act of revolving, or turning round on an axis or a
center; the motion of a body round a fixed point or line;
rotation; as, the revolution of a wheel, of a top, of the
earth on its axis, etc.
3. The space measured by the regular return of a revolving body; the period made by the regular recurrence of a measure of time, or by a succession of similar events. ``The short revolution of a day.'' --Dryden. [1913 Webster]
4. (Astron.) The motion of any body, as a planet or satellite, in a curved line or orbit, until it returns to the same point again, or to a point relatively the same; -- designated as the annual, anomalistic, nodical, sidereal, or tropical revolution, according as the point of return or completion has a fixed relation to the year, the anomaly, the nodes, the stars, or the tropics; as, the revolution of the earth about the sun; the revolution of the moon about the earth. [1913 Webster]
5. (Geom.) The motion of a point, line, or surface about a point or line as its center or axis, in such a manner that a moving point generates a curve, a moving line a surface (called a surface of revolution), and a moving surface a solid (called a solid of revolution); as, the revolution of a right-angled triangle about one of its sides generates a cone; the revolution of a semicircle about the diameter generates a sphere. [1913 Webster]
6. A total or radical change; as, a revolution in one's circumstances or way of living. [1913 Webster]
7. (Politics) A fundamental change in political organization, or in a government or constitution; the overthrow or renunciation of one government, and the substitution of another, by the governed. [1913 Webster]
Note: When used without qualifying terms, the word is often applied specifically, by way of eminence, to: (a) The English Revolution in 1689, when William of Orange and Mary became the reigning sovereigns, in place of James II. (b) The American Revolution, beginning in 1775, by which the English colonies, since known as the United States, secured their independence. (c) The revolution in France in 1789, commonly called the French Revolution, the subsequent revolutions in that country being designated by their dates, as the Revolution of 1830, of 1848, etc. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.