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[turn-stahyl] /ˈtɜrnˌstaɪl/
a structure of four horizontally revolving arms pivoted atop a post and set in a gateway or opening in a fence to allow the controlled passage of people.
a similar device set up in an entrance to bar passage until a charge is paid, to record the number of persons passing through, etc.
Origin of turnstile
First recorded in 1635-45; turn + stile1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for turnstile
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One must pass through a turnstile before these wonders are accessible.

  • A balanced barrier to a passage in a fort, of the nature of a turnstile.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • They paid their two halfpennies at the turnstile and crossed the bridge.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • A railing should be built in front of the turnstile to block the passage on that side.

    The Boy Craftsman A. Neely Hall
  • If you want to know what that means, go somewhere and watch a turnstile.

    The Arrow of Fire

    Roy J. Snell
  • The rest was lost in the clicking of the turnstile that let him through.

    The Syndic C.M. Kornbluth
  • A clicking, turnstile gate allowed only one to pass out at a time.

    White Fire Roy J. Snell
  • Something clicked behind me like the turnstile at the gate of a show.

    Prester John John Buchan
British Dictionary definitions for turnstile


a mechanical gate or barrier with metal arms that are turned to admit one person at a time, usually in one direction only
any similar device that admits foot passengers but no large animals or vehicles
(logic) Also called gatepost. a symbol of the form ̃⊢, ⊨, or ⊩, used to represent logical consequence when inserted between expressions to form a sequent, or when prefixed to a single expression to indicate its status as a theorem
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for turnstile

1640s, from turn (v.) + stile (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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