- 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 churned
Even as he churned out works decrying the evils of capital, he was extremely entrepreneurial and owned a fair amount of property.Brecht's Mercenary Mother Courage Turns 75
September 10, 2014
Barthas would look out on scenes of churned up earth filled with human remains and the debris of thousands of pulverized lives.Blood and Mud: A French Soldier’s WWI Memoir Vividly Describes Trench Warfare
May 1, 2014
The Daily Pic: For 40 days, painter Nick Miller churned out likenesses.A Flood of Faces
November 16, 2012
That feels inherently manufactured, creating a setting wherein episodes are churned out, assembly-line style.Charlie Sheen’s ‘Anger Management’ & Louis C.K.’s ‘Louie’: Comedy Clash
June 27, 2012
I just churned these things out, one after the other after the other.Fight the Violence!
October 14, 2011
There was only the churned water, filled with scantlings and torn branches of trees.The Long Roll
Every inch of this ground had been churned over and over again by shells.The Emma Gees
Herbert Wes McBride
Simultaneously forty-eight oars dipped and churned the water into foam.Two Daring Young Patriots
W. P. Shervill
Much ugliness is churned up in the wake of mighty, moving forces.The Backwash of War
Ellen N. La Motte
The floater under him churned a little, but there was no noise.Unwise Child
Gordon Randall Garrett
- 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 churned
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.