[ churn ]
/ tʃɜrn /
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.
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
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.
Feeling Left Out: Idioms That Hurt LeftiesRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Origin of churn
before 1000; Middle English chirne (noun), Old English cyrne cyr(i)n; cognate with Middle Low German kerne, Old Norse kjarni, kirna
churn·a·ble, adjectivechurn·a·bil·i·ty, nounchurn·er, nounun·churn, verb (used with object)
un·churned, adjectivewell-churned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for churn out (1 of 2)
verb (tr, adverb) informal
to produce (something) at a rapid rateto churn out ideas
to perform (something) mechanicallyto churn out a song
British Dictionary definitions for churn out (2 of 2)
/ (tʃɜːn) /
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
Derived Formschurner, noun
Word Origin for churn
Old English ciern; related to Old Norse kjarni, Middle Low German kerne churn, German dialect Kern cream
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
Idioms and Phrases with churn out
Produce in an abundant and automatic manner, as in He churned out a novel every six months. This idiom transfers the turning of milk into butter to other kinds of production. [Early 1900s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.