- a container or machine in which cream or milk is agitated to make butter.
- any of various containers or machines similar in shape or action to a butter churn, as a device for mixing beverages.
- British. a large milk can.
- an act of churning stocks by a stockbroker.
- to agitate in order to make into butter: to churn cream.
- to make (butter) by the agitation of cream.
- to shake or agitate with violence or continued motion: The storm churned the sea.
- to turn over and over in the mind: His brain slowly churned all the choices and possibilities.
- (of a stockbroker) to trade (a customer's securities) excessively in order to earn more in commissions.
- to operate a churn.
- to move or shake in agitation, as a liquid or any loose matter: The leaves churned along the ground.
- to be changing rapidly or be in a confused state: Her emotions churned as she viewed the horrific photos.
- to have a queasy feeling, as from anxiety or disgust: My insides were churning at the thought of being on stage.
- (of a stockbroker) to engage in the practice of churning.
- churn out, to produce mechanically, hurriedly, or routinely: He was hired to churn out verses for greeting cards.
Origin of churn
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for churn
Academics these days operate under enormous pressure to churn out high volumes of these publications.How Social Scientists, and the Rest of Us, Got Seduced By a Good Story
April 30, 2013
The clock is relentless as they churn out dish after dish, being judged on creativity, taste, and presentation.‘Chopped’: Why I’m Obsessed with Food Network’s Reality Competition Show
April 2, 2013
By the end of the film, you will remember Hushpuppy … and just might churn out a few tears on her behalf.Oscar Nominations Shockers: Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kathryn Bigelow & More
January 10, 2013
By the time I sat down to fill in the blanks, it was a grind to churn out what I already knew would happen.Michelle Gagnon’s How I Write Interview: When I Was a Russian Supper-Club Dancer
September 5, 2012
This year, the U.S. Mint will churn out 4.3 billion of them, more than twice the annual output of all other coins combined.Pennywise
April 3, 2012
Have your churn very clean, and rinse and cool it with cold water.
Strain the cream from the crock into the churn, and put on the lid.
It is best then to have the churn in a warm room, or near the fire.
She had just finished churning, and the children saw their first churn.Four Little Blossoms at Brookside Farm
Mabel C. Hawley
The stumble of thunder, the lash and churn of rain were companions.Erik Dorn
- British a large container for milk
- a vessel or machine in which cream or whole milk is vigorously agitated to produce butter
- any similar device
- the number of customers who switch from one supplier to another
- to stir or agitate (milk or cream) in order to make butter
- to make (butter) by this process
- (sometimes foll by up) to move or cause to move with agitationideas churned in his head
- (of a bank, broker, etc) to encourage an investor or policyholder to change investments, endowment policies, etc, to increase commissions at the client's expense
- (of a government) to pay benefits to a wide category of people and claw it back by taxation from the well off
- to promote the turnover of existing subscribers leasing, and new subscribers joining, a cable television system or mobile phone company
Word Origin and History for churn
Old English cyrin, from Proto-Germanic *kernjon (cf. Old Norse kirna, Swedish kärna, Danish kjerne, Dutch karn, Middle High German kern); probably akin to cyrnel "kernel" (see kernel) and describing the "grainy" appearance of churned cream.
mid-15c., chyrnen, from churn (n.). Extended senses are from late 17c. Intransitive sense is from 1735. Related: Churned; churning. To churn out, of writing, is from 1902.