Is there a difference in meaning between
This operation rotates the object about the axis defined by ...
This operation rotates the object around the axis defined by ...
(e.g. in the context of a graphical user interface)?
Ngrams shows us that rotate has been more commonly used with about, though in later years the two options seem to have become more equivalent in terms of popularity:
I'm not really sure if this is a well-defined and widely accepted difference, but to me, "Rotate about" implies that the object is spinning in place (i.e. the defined axis passes through the center of the object in question, or at least through some internal point of the object), while "rotate around" implies that the object is orbiting an external point.