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Rotate vs. Turn — What's the Difference?

Rotate vs. Turn — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Rotate and Turn

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Rotate

To turn around on an axis or center.

Turn

To cause to move around an axis or center; cause to rotate or revolve
A motor turns the wheels.

Rotate

To proceed in sequence; take turns or alternate
Interns will rotate through the various departments.

Turn

To cause to move around in order to achieve a result, such as opening, closing, tightening, or loosening
Turn the key.
Turn a screw.

Rotate

To cause to turn on an axis or center.
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Turn

To alter or control the functioning of (a mechanical device, for example) by the use of a rotating or similar movement
Turned the iron to a hotter setting.

Rotate

To plant or grow (crops) in a fixed order of succession.

Turn

To perform or accomplish by rotating or revolving
Turn a somersault.

Rotate

To cause to alternate or proceed in sequence
The coach rotates her players frequently near the end of the game.

Turn

To change the position of so that the underside becomes the upper side
Turn the steak.
Turn a page.

Rotate

Having radiating parts; wheel-shaped.

Turn

To spade or plow (soil) to bring the undersoil to the surface.

Rotate

(intransitive) To spin, turn, or revolve.
He rotated in his chair to face me.
The earth rotates.

Turn

To reverse and resew the material of (a collar, for example).

Rotate

(intransitive) To advance through a sequence; to take turns.
The nurses' shifts rotate each week.

Turn

To revolve in the mind; meditate on; ponder
Turned the question in her mind.

Rotate

To lift the nose during takeoff, just prior to liftoff.
The aircraft rotates at sixty knots.

Turn

To give a rounded form to (wood, for example) by rotating against a cutting tool.

Rotate

(transitive) To spin, turn, or revolve something.
Rotate the dial to the left.

Turn

To give a rounded shape to (clay, for example) by rotating and shaping with the hands or tools.

Rotate

(transitive) To advance something through a sequence; to allocate or deploy in turns.

Turn

To give a rounded form to
Turn a heel in knitting a sock.

Rotate

(transitive) To replace older materials or to place older materials in front of newer ones so that older ones get used first.
The supermarket rotates the stock daily so that old foods don't sit around.

Turn

To give distinctive, artistic, or graceful form to
"They know precisely how to turn a dramatic line or phrase that is guaranteed to make the evening news" (William Safire).

Rotate

(transitive) To grow or plant (crops) in a certain order.

Turn

To change the position of by traversing an arc of a circle; pivot
Turned his chair toward the speaker.

Rotate

Having the parts spreading out like a wheel; wheel-shaped.
A rotate spicule or scale; a rotate corolla

Turn

To present in a specified direction by rotating or pivoting
Turn one's face to the wall.

Rotate

Having the parts spreading out like a wheel; wheel-shaped; as, a rotate spicule or scale; a rotate corolla, i.e., a monopetalous corolla with a flattish border, and no tube or a very short one.

Turn

To cause (a scale) to move up or down so as to register weight
Even a feather will turn a delicate scale.

Rotate

To turn, as a wheel, round an axis; to revolve.

Turn

To fold, bend, or twist (something).

Rotate

To perform any act, function, or operation in turn, to hold office in turn; as, to rotate in office.

Turn

To change the position or disposition of by folding, bending, or twisting
Turn the design right side up on your jacket buttons. Turn the hat inside out.

Rotate

To cause to turn round or revolve, as a wheel around an axle.

Turn

To make a bend or curve in
Strong enough to turn a bar of steel.

Rotate

To cause to succeed in turn; esp., to cause to succeed some one, or to be succeeded by some one, in office.

Turn

To blunt or dull (the edge of a cutting instrument).

Rotate

Turn on or around an axis or a center;
The Earth revolves around the Sun
The lamb roast rotates on a spit over the fire

Turn

To injure by twisting
Turn an ankle.

Rotate

Exchange on a regular basis;
We rotate the lead soprano every night

Turn

To upset or make nauseated
That story turns my stomach.

Rotate

Cause to turn on an axis or center;
Rotate the handle

Turn

To change the direction or course of
Turn the car to the left.

Rotate

Perform a job or duty on a rotating basis;
Interns have to rotate for a few months

Turn

To divert or deflect
Turn a stampede.

Rotate

Turn outward;
These birds can splay out their toes
Ballet dancers can rotate their legs out by 90 degrees

Turn

To reverse the course of; cause to retreat
"Then turn your forces from this paltry siege / And stir them up against a mightier task" (Shakespeare).

Rotate

Plant or grow in a fixed cyclic order of succession;
We rotate the crops so as to maximize the use of the soil

Turn

To make a course around or about
Turn a corner.

Turn

To reach and pass (a specified age)
My niece has turned two.

Turn

To change the purpose, intention, or content of by persuasion or influence
Her speech turned my thinking.

Turn

To change the order or disposition of; unsettle
"Sudden prosperity had turned [his] head" (Thomas Macaulay).

Turn

To aim or focus
Turn one's gaze to the sky.
Turned the camera on the speaker.

Turn

To devote or apply (oneself, for example) to something
She turned herself to law.

Turn

To cause to act or go against; make antagonistic
The scandal turned public opinion against the candidate.

Turn

To cause to go in a specific direction; direct
They turned their steps toward home.

Turn

To send, drive, or let go
Turn the bully out of the bar.
Turned the dog loose.

Turn

To pour, let fall, or otherwise release (contents) from or into a receptacle
Turn the dough onto a floured board.

Turn

To cause to take on a specified character, nature, identity, or appearance; change or transform. Used with to or into
Water that had been turned to ice.
Turn a rundown house into a show place.

Turn

To affect or change the color of
Autumn turns the green leaves golden.

Turn

To make sour; ferment
Lack of refrigeration turned the milk.

Turn

To exchange; convert. Used with to or into
Turns her singing talent into extra money.

Turn

To keep in circulation; sell and restock
We turned a great deal of merchandise during the holidays.

Turn

To make use of
Turned the situation to our advantage.

Turn

To get by buying and selling
Turn a fair profit.

Turn

To perform successfully; complete
Turn a double play.

Turn

(Slang) To perform (an act of prostitution)
Turning tricks.

Turn

To move around an axis or center; rotate or revolve.

Turn

To have a sensation of revolving or whirling, especially as a result of dizziness or giddiness
My head is turning.

Turn

To change position from side to side or back and forth
I tossed and turned all night.

Turn

To progress through pages so as to arrive at a given place
Please turn to page 31.

Turn

To operate a lathe.

Turn

To be formed on a lathe
A softwood that turns easily.

Turn

To direct one's way or course
The truck turned into the gas station. Turn off the highway at the next exit.

Turn

To change or reverse one's way, course, or direction
Too tired to go farther, we turned toward home.

Turn

To change one's actions or attitudes adversely; become hostile or antagonistic
The peasants turned against the cruel king.

Turn

To attack suddenly and violently with no apparent motive
The lion turned on the animal trainer.

Turn

To channel one's attention, interest, or thought toward or away from something
"In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love" (Tennyson).

Turn

To devote or apply oneself to something, as to a field of study
Unsuccessful in math, the student turned to biology.

Turn

To convert to a religion.

Turn

To switch one's loyalty from one side or party to another.

Turn

To have recourse to a person or thing for help, support, or information
You can always turn to me for advice.

Turn

To start to use (something) as a solution to a problem or relief of distress
When things got really bad, he turned to drugs.

Turn

To depend on something for success or failure; hinge
"The election would turn not on ideology but on competence" (George F. Will).

Turn

To change so as to be; become
His hair turned gray. I am a lawyer turned novelist.

Turn

To change; become transformed. Used with to or into
The sky turned to pink at dawn. The night turned into day.

Turn

To change color
The leaves have turned.

Turn

To become sour
The milk will turn if you don't refrigerate it.

Turn

To be stocked and sold
This merchandise will turn easily.

Turn

To become dull or blunt by bending back. Used of the edge of a cutting instrument.

Turn

The act of turning or the condition of being turned; rotation or revolution.

Turn

A change of direction, motion, or position
Make a left turn at the corner.

Turn

A place, as in a road or path, where a change in direction occurs; a curve
A sharp turn in the road.

Turn

A change or deviation, as in a trend
A strange turn of events.

Turn

A change or development in a particular way
The patient took a turn for the worse.

Turn

A variation of a given kind or type
"His muse occasionally takes a humorous and satirical turn" (Albert C. Baugh).

Turn

A point marking the end of one period of time and the beginning of the next
The turn of the century.

Turn

The midway point in a round of 18 holes of golf, at which the first set of nine holes has been completed.

Turn

A period of participation
Had a turn at wrestling in college.

Turn

A chance or opportunity
Took advantage at every turn.

Turn

One of a series of such opportunities accorded people in succession or in scheduled order
Waiting for her next turn at bat.

Turn

An attack of illness or severe nervousness.

Turn

A momentary shock or scare
I had quite a turn when I heard the crash.

Turn

A characteristic mood, style, or habit; a natural inclination
An inquisitive turn of mind.

Turn

A distinctive, graceful, or artistic expression or arrangement of words
The poetic turn of a phrase.

Turn

A deed or action having a good or bad effect on another
"He thought some friend had done him an ill turn" (Stephen Crane).

Turn

A short walk or excursion out and back
Took a turn in the park.

Turn

A single wind or convolution, as of wire on a spool.

Turn

(Music) A figure or ornament, usually consisting of four or more notes in rapid succession and including the principal note, the one a degree above it, and the one a degree below it.

Turn

A brief theatrical act or stage appearance.

Turn

A transaction on the stock market involving both a sale and a purchase.

Turn

The fourth community card in Texas hold'em.

Turn

Upper Southern & South Atlantic US An amount that can be carried or transported in one load
A turn of firewood.
A turn of corn.

Turn

To make a non-linear physical movement.

Turn

(intransitive) Of a body, person, etc, to move around an axis through itself.
The Earth turns;
Turn on the spot

Turn

(transitive) To change the direction or orientation of, especially by rotation.
Turn the knob clockwise.

Turn

(intransitive) To change one's direction of travel.
She turned right at the corner.

Turn

(transitive) To shape (something) symmetrically by rotating it against a stationary cutting tool, as on a lathe.
She turned the table legs with care and precision.

Turn

(by extension) To give form to; to shape or mould; to adapt.

Turn

(transitive) To position (something) by folding it, or using its folds.
Turn the bed covers;
Turn the pages

Turn

To navigate through a book or other printed material.
Turn to page twenty;
Turn through the book

Turn

Of a bowler, to make (the ball) move sideways off the pitch when it bounces.

Turn

Of a ball, to move sideways off the pitch when it bounces.

Turn

(intransitive) To change condition or attitude.

Turn

(copulative) To become begin to be.
The leaves turn brown in autumn. When I asked him for the money, he turned nasty.

Turn

(intransitive) To change the color of the leaves in the autumn.
The hillside behind our house isn't generally much to look at, but once all the trees turn it's gorgeous.

Turn

To change fundamentally; to metamorphose.
Midas made everything turn to gold.
He turned into a monster every full moon.

Turn

To reach a certain age.
Charlie turns six on September 29.

Turn

To hinge; to depend.
The decision turns on a single fact.

Turn

To rebel; to go against something formerly tolerated.
The prisoners turned on the warden.

Turn

To change personal condition.

Turn

To change one's course of action; to take a new approach.

Turn

To complete.
They say they can turn the parts in two days.

Turn

(transitive) To make (money); turn a profit.
We turned a pretty penny with that little scheme.

Turn

Of a player, to go past an opposition player with the ball in one's control.

Turn

To undergo the process of turning on a lathe.
Ivory turns well.

Turn

(obstetrics) To bring down the feet of a child in the womb, in order to facilitate delivery.

Turn

To invert a type of the same thickness, as a temporary substitute for any sort which is exhausted.

Turn

(archaic) To translate.
To turn the Iliad

Turn

To magically or divinely attack undead.

Turn

A change of direction or orientation.
Give the handle a turn, then pull it.

Turn

A movement of an object about its own axis in one direction that continues until the object returns to its initial orientation.

Turn

(geometry) A unit of plane angle measurement based on this movement.

Turn

A walk to and fro.
Let's take a turn in the garden.

Turn

A chance to use (something) shared in sequence with others.
They took turns playing with the new toy.

Turn

A spell of work, especially the time allotted to a person in a rota or schedule.
I cooked tonight, so it's your turn to do the dishes.

Turn

One's chance to make a move in a game having two or more players.

Turn

A figure in music, often denoted ~, consisting of the note above the one indicated, the note itself, the note below the one indicated, and the note itself again.

Turn

The time required to complete a project.
They quote a three-day turn on parts like those.

Turn

A fit or a period of giddiness.
I've had a funny turn.

Turn

A change in temperament or circumstance.
She took a turn for the worse.

Turn

(cricket) A sideways movement of the ball when it bounces (caused by rotation in flight).

Turn

(poker) The fourth communal card in Texas hold 'em.

Turn

The flop (the first three community cards) in Texas hold 'em.

Turn

A deed done to another; an act of kindness or malice.
One good turn deserves another.
I felt that the man was of a vindictive nature, and would do me an evil turn if he found the opportunitynb....

Turn

A single loop of a coil.

Turn

(rope) A pass behind or through an object.

Turn

Character; personality; nature.

Turn

(soccer) An instance of going past an opposition player with the ball in one's control.

Turn

A short skit, act, or routine.

Turn

A type turned upside down to serve for another character that is not available.

Turn

The profit made by a stockjobber, being the difference between the buying and selling prices.

Turn

To cause to move upon a center, or as if upon a center; to give circular motion to; to cause to revolve; to cause to move round, either partially, wholly, or repeatedly; to make to change position so as to present other sides in given directions; to make to face otherwise; as, to turn a wheel or a spindle; to turn the body or the head.
Turn the adamantine spindle round.
The monarch turns him to his royal guest.

Turn

To cause to present a different side uppermost or outmost; to make the upper side the lower, or the inside to be the outside of; to reverse the position of; as, to turn a box or a board; to turn a coat.

Turn

To give another direction, tendency, or inclination to; to direct otherwise; to deflect; to incline differently; - used both literally and figuratively; as, to turn the eyes to the heavens; to turn a horse from the road, or a ship from her course; to turn the attention to or from something.
Thrice I deluded her, and turned to sportHer importunity.
My thoughts are turned on peace.

Turn

To change from a given use or office; to divert, as to another purpose or end; to transfer; to use or employ; to apply; to devote.
Therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David.
God will make these evils the occasion of a greater good, by turning them to advantage in this world.
When the passage is open, land will be turned most to cattle; when shut, to sheep.

Turn

To change the form, quality, aspect, or effect of; to alter; to metamorphose; to convert; to transform; - often with to or into before the word denoting the effect or product of the change; as, to turn a worm into a winged insect; to turn green to blue; to turn prose into verse; to turn a Whig to a Tory, or a Hindu to a Christian; to turn good to evil, and the like.
The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee.
And David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
Impatience turns an ague into a fever.

Turn

To form in a lathe; to shape or fashion (anything) by applying a cutting tool to it while revolving; as, to turn the legs of stools or tables; to turn ivory or metal.
I had rather hear a brazen canstick turned.

Turn

Hence, to give form to; to shape; to mold; to put in proper condition; to adapt.
His limbs how turned, how broad his shoulders spread !
He was perfectly well turned for trade.

Turn

To translate; to construe; as, to turn the Iliad.
Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown.

Turn

To make acid or sour; to ferment; to curdle, etc.: as, to turn cider or wine; electricity turns milk quickly.

Turn

To make a turn about or around (something); to go or pass around by turning; as, to turn a corner.
The ranges are not high or steep, and one can turn a kopje instead of cutting or tunneling through it.
We turn not back the silks upon the merchants,When we have soiled them.
I'll turn you out of my kingdom.
This house is turned upside down since Robin Ostler died.

Turn

To sicken; to nauseate; as, an emetic turns one's stomach.

Turn

To move round; to have a circular motion; to revolve entirely, repeatedly, or partially; to change position, so as to face differently; to whirl or wheel round; as, a wheel turns on its axis; a spindle turns on a pivot; a man turns on his heel.
The gate . . . on golden hinges turning.

Turn

Hence, to revolve as if upon a point of support; to hinge; to depend; as, the decision turns on a single fact.
Conditions of peace certainly turn upon events of war.

Turn

To result or terminate; to come about; to eventuate; to issue.
If we repent seriously, submit contentedly, and serve him faithfully, afflictions shall turn to our advantage.

Turn

To be deflected; to take a different direction or tendency; to be directed otherwise; to be differently applied; to be transferred; as, to turn from the road.
Turn from thy fierce wrath.
Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways.
The understanding turns inward on itself, and reflects on its own operations.

Turn

To be changed, altered, or transformed; to become transmuted; also, to become by a change or changes; to grow; as, wood turns to stone; water turns to ice; one color turns to another; to turn Muslim.
I hope you have no intent to turn husband.
Cygnets from gray turn white.

Turn

To undergo the process of turning on a lathe; as, ivory turns well.

Turn

To become acid; to sour; - said of milk, ale, etc.

Turn

To become giddy; - said of the head or brain.
I'll look no more;Lest my brain turn.

Turn

To invert a type of the same thickness, as temporary substitute for any sort which is exhausted.

Turn

To be nauseated; - said of the stomach.

Turn

To become inclined in the other direction; - said of scales.

Turn

To change from ebb to flow, or from flow to ebb; - said of the tide.

Turn

To bring down the feet of a child in the womb, in order to facilitate delivery.

Turn

The act of turning; movement or motion about, or as if about, a center or axis; revolution; as, the turn of a wheel.

Turn

Change of direction, course, or tendency; different order, position, or aspect of affairs; alteration; vicissitude; as, the turn of the tide.
At length his complaint took a favorable turn.
The turns and varieties of all passions.
Too well the turns of mortal chance I know.

Turn

One of the successive portions of a course, or of a series of occurrences, reckoning from change to change; hence, a winding; a bend; a meander.
And all its [the river's] thousand turns disclose.Some fresher beauty varying round.

Turn

A circuitous walk, or a walk to and fro, ending where it began; a short walk; a stroll.
Come, you and I must walk a turn together.
I will take a turn in your garden.

Turn

Successive course; opportunity enjoyed by alternation with another or with others, or in due order; due chance; alternate or incidental occasion; appropriate time.
His turn will come to laugh at you again.
Every one has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases.

Turn

Incidental or opportune deed or office; occasional act of kindness or malice; as, to do one an ill turn.
Had I not done a friendes turn to thee?
Thanks are half lost when good turns are delayed.

Turn

Convenience; occasion; purpose; exigence; as, this will not serve his turn.
I have enough to serve mine own turn.

Turn

Form; cast; shape; manner; fashion; - used in a literal or figurative sense; hence, form of expression; mode of signifying; as, the turn of thought; a man of a sprightly turn in conversation.
The turn of both his expressions and thoughts is unharmonious.
The Roman poets, in their description of a beautiful man, often mention the turn of his neck and arms.

Turn

A change of condition; especially, a sudden or recurring symptom of illness, as a nervous shock, or fainting spell; as, a bad turn.

Turn

A fall off the ladder at the gallows; a hanging; - so called from the practice of causing the criminal to stand on a ladder which was turned over, so throwing him off, when the signal was given.

Turn

A round of a rope or cord in order to secure it, as about a pin or a cleat.

Turn

A pit sunk in some part of a drift.

Turn

A court of record, held by the sheriff twice a year in every hundred within his county.

Turn

Monthly courses; menses.

Turn

An embellishment or grace (marked thus, ), commonly consisting of the principal note, or that on which the turn is made, with the note above, and the semitone below, the note above being sounded first, the principal note next, and the semitone below last, the three being performed quickly, as a triplet preceding the marked note. The turn may be inverted so as to begin with the lower note, in which case the sign is either placed on end thus , or drawn thus .

Turn

A circular segment of a curve;
A bend in the road
A crook in the path

Turn

The act of changing or reversing the direction of the course;
He took a turn to the right

Turn

The activity of doing something in an agreed succession;
It is my turn
It is still my play

Turn

An unforeseen development;
Events suddenly took an awkward turn

Turn

A movement in a new direction;
The turning of the wind

Turn

Turning away or in the opposite direction;
He made an abrupt turn away from her

Turn

Turning or twisting around (in place);
With a quick twist of his head he surveyed the room

Turn

A time for working (after which you will be relieved by someone else);
It's my go
A spell of work

Turn

(sports) a period of play during which one team is on the offensive

Turn

A short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program;
He did his act three times every evening
She had a catchy little routine
It was one of the best numbers he ever did

Turn

A favor for someone;
He did me a good turn

Turn

Taking a short walk out and back;
We took a turn in the park

Turn

Change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense;
Turn towards me
The mugger turned and fled before I could see his face
She turned from herself and learned to listen to others' needs

Turn

Undergo a change or development;
The water turned into ice
Her former friend became her worst enemy
He turned traitor

Turn

Undergo a transformation or a change of position or action;
We turned from Socialism to Capitalism
The people turned against the President when he stole the election

Turn

Cause to move around or rotate;
Turn a key
Turn your palm this way

Turn

Pass into a condition gradually, take on a specific property or attribute; become;
The weather turned nasty
She grew angry

Turn

To send or let go;
They turned away the crowd at the gate of the governor's mansion

Turn

Pass to the other side of;
Turn the corner
Move around the obstacle

Turn

Move around an axis or a center;
The wheels are turning

Turn

Cause to move around a center so as to show another side of;
Turn a page of a book

Turn

Change to the contrary;
The trend was reversed
The tides turned against him
Public opinion turned when it was revealed that the president had an affair with a White House intern

Turn

To break and turn over earth especially with a plow;
Farmer Jones plowed his east field last week
Turn the earth in the Spring

Turn

Change color;
In Vermont, the leaves turn early

Turn

Cause to change or turn into something different;assume new characteristics;
The princess turned the frog into a prince by kissing him
The alchemists tried to turn lead into gold

Turn

Let (something) fall or spill a container;
Turn the flour onto a plate

Turn

Twist suddenly so as to sprain;
Wrench one's ankle
The wrestler twisted his shoulder
The hikers sprained their ankles when they fell
I turned my ankle and couldn't walk for several days

Turn

Shape by rotating on a lathe or cutting device or a wheel;
Turn the legs of the table
Turn the clay on the wheel

Turn

Go sour or spoil;
The milk has soured
The wine worked
The cream has turned--we have to throw it out

Turn

Accomplish by rotating;
Turn a somersault
Turn cartwheels

Turn

Get by buying and selling;
The company turned a good profit after a year

Turn

Cause to move along an axis or into a new direction;
Turn your face to the wall
Turn the car around
Turn your dance partner around

Turn

Channel one's attention, interest, thought, or attention toward or away from something;
The pedophile turned to boys for satisfaction
People turn to mysticism at the turn of a millenium

Turn

Cause (a plastic object) to assume a crooked or angular form;
Bend the rod
Twist the dough into a braid
The strong man could turn an iron bar

Turn

Alter the functioning or setting of;
Turn the dial to 10
Turn the heat down

Turn

Direct at someone;
She turned a smile on me
They turned their flashlights on the car

Turn

Have recourse to or make an appeal or request for help or information to;
She called on her Representative to help her
She turned to her relatives for help

Turn

Become officially one year older;
She is turning 50 this year

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