verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of churn
Synonyms for churn
verb (tr, adverb) informal
- to stir or agitate (milk or cream) in order to make butter
- to make (butter) by this process
Word Origin 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.
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]