Idioms for turn

Origin of turn

before 1000; (v.) Middle English turnen, partly continuing Old English turnian, tyrnan < Latin tornāre to turn in a lathe, round off (derivative of tornus lathe < Greek tórnos tool for making circles), partly < Old French torner, t(o)urner < Latin, as above; (noun) Middle English, partly derivative of the v., partly < Anglo-French *torn, t(o)urn; Old French tor, t(o)ur < Latin tornus, as above

SYNONYMS FOR turn

23, 24 fashion, mold.
41 Turn, revolve, rotate, spin indicate moving in a more or less rotary, circular fashion. Turn is the general and popular word for motion on an axis or around a center, but it is used also of motion that is less than a complete circle: A gate turns on its hinges. Revolve refers especially to movement in an orbit around a center, but is sometimes exchangeable with rotate, which refers only to the motion of a body around its own center or axis: The moon revolves about the earth. The earth rotates on its axis. To spin is to rotate very rapidly: A top spins.
66 spin, gyration, revolution.
75 deviation, bend, twist, vicissitude, variation.
88 talent, proclivity. Turn, cast, twist are colloquial in use and imply a bent, inclination, or habit. Turn means a tendency or inclination for something: a turn for art. Cast means an established habit of thought, manner, or style: a melancholy cast. Twist means a bias: a strange twist of thought.

OTHER WORDS FROM turn

turn·a·ble, adjectivehalf-turned, adjectiveun·turn·a·ble, adjectiveun·turned, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH turn

intern inturn in turntern turn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for turn on (1 of 2)

turn on

verb

noun turn-on

slang a person or thing that causes emotional or sexual arousal

British Dictionary definitions for turn on (2 of 2)

turn
/ (tɜːn) /

verb

noun

Derived forms of turn

turnable, adjective

Word Origin for turn

Old English tyrnian, from Old French torner, from Latin tornāre to turn in a lathe, from tornus lathe, from Greek tornos dividers
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 turn on (1 of 2)

turn on

1

Cause to begin the operation, flow, or activity of, as in Turn on the lights, please, or Don't turn on the sprinkler yet. [First half of 1800s]

2

Begin to display, employ, or exude, as in He turned on the charm. [Late 1800s]

3

Also, get high or on. Take or cause to take a mind-altering drug, as in The boys were excited about turning on, or They tried to get her high, or I told them I wouldn't get on tonight. [Slang; mid-1900s]

4

Be or cause to become excited or interested, as in His mother was the first to turn him on to classical music. [c. 1900]

5

Be or become sexually aroused, as in He blushed when she asked him what turned him on. [Second half of 1900s]

6

Also, turn upon. Depend on, relate to, as in The entire plot turns on mistaken identity. This usage, first recorded in 1661, uses turn in the sense of “revolve on an axis or hinge.”

7

Also, turn upon. Attack, become hostile toward, as in Although normally friendly, the dog suddenly turned on everyone who came to the door. Also see turn against.

Idioms and Phrases with turn on (2 of 2)

turn

In addition to the idioms beginning with turn

  • turn a blind eye to
  • turn a deaf ear
  • turn against
  • turn a hair, not
  • turn around
  • turn around one's finger
  • turn a trick
  • turn away
  • turn back
  • turn down
  • turn for the better
  • turn in
  • turn in one's grave
  • turn off
  • turn of phrase
  • turn of the century
  • turn of the tide
  • turn on
  • turn one's back on
  • turn one's hand to
  • turn one's head
  • turn one's stomach
  • turn on one's heel
  • turn on the waterworks
  • turn out
  • turn out all right
  • turn over
  • turn over a new leaf
  • turn over in one's grave
  • turn tail
  • turn the clock back
  • turn the corner
  • turn the other cheek
  • turn the scale
  • turn the tables
  • turn the tide
  • turn the trick
  • turn thumbs down
  • turn to
  • turn to good account
  • turn turtle
  • turn up
  • turn up like a bad penny
  • turn up one's nose
  • turn up one's toes
  • turn upside down
  • turn up the heat on
  • turn up trumps

also see:

  • at every turn
  • by turns
  • every time one turns around
  • good turn
  • in turn
  • not know where to turn
  • one good turn deserves another
  • out of turn
  • take a turn for the better
  • take turns
  • to a T (turn)
  • twist (turn) around one's finger
  • when someone's back is turned

Also see underunturned.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.