Difference Between Clockwise and Counterclockwise (With Table)

Clockwise vs Counterclockwise

The English vocabulary is rich with verbs, adverbs, adjectives and nouns to give meaning to every bit surrounding us. To understand the movement of a certain something in a given period of time we often use adverbs/adjectives such as clockwise and counterclockwise. These adverbs describe the motion of an object in the right or left direction.

The movement takes place in a circular format i.e. it’s either towards the right to the top and the left to the bottom of the circle or vice versa for clockwise. For counterclockwise rotation (also known as anti-clockwise), the direction is in the stark opposite direction of the clockwise rotation. If used as adjectives, clockwise would mean moving in a rotating motion like any clock does while counterclockwise would be moving in a direction exactly opposite to the clockwise direction.

Clockwise (abbreviation: CW) as the name suggests, is the motion that proceeds exactly like a clock’s hands. The movement usually begins from the top, goes around towards the right, then proceeds to the bottom then moves upwards to the left, and then back again to the top position from where it started.

 Counterclockwise (abbreviation: CCW) is the stark opposite of the clockwise rotation. Here, the movement starts from the top, heads towards the left, goes down, then proceeds towards the right side, and ends up at the top from where it started. The nature and pace of the movement remain the same, only the direction changes. The rotation is also known as anticlockwise (ACW).

The difference between Clockwise and Counterclockwise is that in a clockwise circular motion the movement follows the movement of any clock i.e. right to left whereas in a counterclockwise motion, as the name suggests, the movement counters the clockwise movement and instead moved from right to left.


 

Comparison Table Between Clockwise and Counterclockwise

Parameter of ComparisonClockwiseCounterclockwise
AbbreviationCWCCW
DefinitionClockwise (abbreviation: CW) as the name suggests, is the motion that proceeds exactly like a clock’s hands.Counterclockwise (abbreviation: CCW) is the stark opposite of the clockwise rotation.
MovementFrom left to right.From right to left.
Examples of CW movementUnlike other planets, Venus and Uranus are the only two planets which revolve around the sun in a clockwise direction.Earth and other planets except for Venus and Uranus revolve around the sun in a counterclockwise direction. Earth also rotates on its axis in a counterclockwise direction.
SynonymsNone.Anticlockwise.

 

What is Clockwise?

Clockwise (abbreviation: CW), as the name suggests, is the motion that proceeds exactly like a clock’s hands. If we are to describe any motion or movement which is circular in nature, like the rotation and revolution of planets or the direction of the wind or simple movement of a windmill or tyres of a car forming or waves in an ocean, we understand the direction of these motion i.e. from left to right and call it clockwise motion.

The movement usually begins from the top, goes towards the right, then goes to the bottom, then moves upwards to the left, and then back again to the top position from where it started. The naming of motions is very handy in Physics. A lot of laws and theories are formulated on the basis of “clockwise” motion.

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You should know that unlike other planets in the solar system, Venus and Uranus are the only planets that revolve around the sun in a clockwise direction. All the other planets revolve counterclockwise.

clockwise
 

What is Counterclockwise?

Counterclockwise (abbreviation: CCW), again as the name suggests, is the stark opposite of the clockwise rotation. As mentioned earlier, if we are to describe any kind of motion or movement which is circular in nature, like the rotation and revolution of planets or simple movement of a windmill or tyres of a car or the direction of the wind or forming or waves in an ocean, we determine the direction of these motions i.e. from right to left and call it counterclockwise or anticlockwise motion.

The movement usually starts from the top, goes around towards the left, then goes to the bottom then moves upwards to the right, and then back to thee top position from where it started. You see, the exact opposite but at the same pace! The nature and pace of the movement remain the same, only the direction changes. The rotation is also known as anticlockwise (ACW).

You should know that all planets in the solar system except for Venus and Uranus planets revolve around the sun in a counterclockwise direction. Also, our planet earth rotates on its axis in the counterclockwise/anticlockwise direction.

Counterclockwise

Main Differences Between Clockwise and Counterclockwise

  • Abbreviation for Clockwise is CW and abbreviation for Counterclockwise is CCW.
  • Clockwise (abbreviation: CW) as the name suggests, is the motion that proceeds exactly like a clock’s hands. Whereas, Counterclockwise (abbreviation: CCW) is the stark opposite of the clockwise rotation.
  • Clockwise direction is from left to right. Whereas, Counterclockwise direction is from right to left.
  • Unlike other planets, Venus and Uranus are the only two planets which revolve around the sun in a clockwise direction. All other planets follow counterclockwise direction. Also, Earth’s rotation about its axis is also anticlockwise in nature.
  • ‘Clockwise’ has no synonyms whereas ‘Counterclockwise’ is also called ‘anticlockwise’.

 

Conclusion

So now we understand the clear difference between Clockwise and Counterclockwise (anticlockwise). While Clockwise corresponds to movement in a rotary motion like any clock does i.e. from left to right whereas for counterclockwise (also referred to as anti-clockwise), the direction is in the exact opposite direction of the clockwise rotation i.e. from right to left.

The naming of motions is very handy in Physics. A lot of laws and theories are formulated on the basis of “clockwise” and “anticlockwise” motions, making it easier to determine the exact direction/movement of the subject.

Other than inferring the differences in the meaning of two words, don’t forget to also use the synonym of these conventional words to add charm to your language.