Clockwise and Counterclockwise

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Clockwise and Counterclockwise in Detail

The rotation in a two-dimensional plane about a fixed point can be of two types- clockwise and counterclockwise. These two terms are used for indicating the direction.


When we move something in a clockwise direction, it is moving in the same direction as the hands on the clock.

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Example of clockwise: Most screws, lock and taps are closed by turning in the clockwise direction.


When something moves in the opposite direction to the way in which the hands of a clock move round in known as counterclockwise.  The counterclockwise direction is also known as anticlockwise direction.

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Examples of Counterclockwise: Just opposite of clockwise when we open screw, lock and taps we have to move in the anticlockwise direction.

Let’s have a look at some examples of clockwise and counterclockwise

For measuring angle we use clockwise and counterclockwise direction.

When we measure the positive angle, we should move in the clockwise direction, as shown in the below diagram.

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When we measure the negative angle, we should move in the counterclockwise direction. Shown in the below diagram.

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What is Clockwise?

Clockwise is the motion that proceeds in a similar direction as a clock’s hands move. The clockwise movement usually starts from the top going around to the right, then to the bottom, to the left, and then back to the top position.

What is Counterclockwise?

Counterclockwise is the opposite sense of the clockwise rotation. The movement in the counterclockwise direction, starts from the top, heads to the right, goes down, then follows to the right side, and ends up at the top position.

Abbrevations Used for Clockwise and Counterclockwise:

  • Clockwise is usually abbreviated as CW.

  • Counterclockwise abbreviated as CCW. As we know, Counterclockwise is also known as anticlockwise so abbreviated as ACW.

Difference Between Clockwise and Counterclockwise:

The major difference between the two is based on rotations.

  • In clockwise rotation, the motion starts from the top position, heads to the right side, goes to the bottom position, heads to left, and finally goes up to the top position.

  • Whereas on other hand counterclockwise starts from top position, goes to the left side, proceeds to the bottom position, then heads to the right side, and finally reaches the top position.

Solved Question:

1. Kabir is facing north. He turns 45° in the clockwise direction and then another 90in the same direction and then again 180° in the clockwise direction. Which direction he is facing now?

Sol: Here the starting point is north as Kabir is facing north. Draw a diagram from the given question to visualize in all directions.

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Let the starting point be O and A be the point in the north direction. So, from A point, he moves 45° in a clockwise direction that is OB. Then turn 90° in the same direction that is OC. Finally, he turns 180° in the same direction at point D. From the above diagram, we can say that Kabir is facing north-west direction and distance is OD.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How do we Rotate 90-Degree Clockwise Direction?

Ans:  When we rotate a figure of 90 degrees clockwise direction, at each point of the given figure, we need to change from (x, y) to (y, -x).

2. What is a Clockwise Angle?

Ans: Clockwise angle is of two type positive and negative angles. If the rotation is counterclockwise, the angle gives a positive measure. If the rotation is clockwise, the give has a negative measure.