verb (used with object)
- to convert.
- to pervert.
verb (used without object)
- to retrace one's footsteps; turn around to return.
- to cause to go no further or to return, as by not welcoming; send away.
- to fold (a blanket, sheet of paper, etc.) on itself: Turn back the page to keep the place.
- to turn over; fold down.
- to lower in intensity; lessen.
- to refuse or reject (a person, request, etc.): The Marine Corps turned him down.
- to hand in; submit: to turn in a resignation.
- to inform on or deliver up: She promptly turned him in to the police.
- to turn from one path or course into another; veer.
- Informal. to go to bed; retire: I never turn in before eleven o'clock.
- to drive a vehicle or to walk into (a street, store, etc.): We turned into the dead-end street. He turned into the saloon at the corner.
- to be changed, transformed, or converted into: He has turned into a very pleasant fellow. The caterpillar turned into a butterfly.
- to stop the flow of (water, gas, etc.), as by closing a faucet or valve.
- to extinguish (a light).
- to divert; deflect.
- to diverge or branch off, as a side road from a main road.
- to drive a vehicle or walk onto (a side road) from a main road: You turn off at 96th Street. Turn off the highway on the dirt road.
- Slang. to stop listening: You could see him turn off as the speaker droned on.
- Slang. to disaffect, alienate, or disgust.
- Chiefly British. to discharge an employee.
- to cause (water, gas, etc.) to flow, as by opening a valve.
- to switch on (a light).
- to put into operation; activate.
- to start suddenly to affect or show: She turned on the charm and won him over.
- Slang. to induce (a person) to start taking a narcotic drug.
- Slang. to take a narcotic drug.
- Slang. to arouse or excite the interest of; engage: the first lecture that really turned me on.
- Slang. to arouse sexually.
- Also turn upon. to become suddenly hostile to: The dog turned on its owner.
- to extinguish (a light).
- to produce as the result of labor: She turned out four tapestries a year.
- to drive out; dismiss; discharge: a premier turned out of office.
- to fit out; dress; equip.
- to result; issue.
- to come to be; become ultimately.
- to be found or known; prove.
- to be present at; appear.
- Informal. to get out of bed.
- Nautical. to order (a seaman or seamen) from quarters for duty.
- to cause to turn outward, as the toes.
- to move or be moved from one side to another.
- to put in reverse position; invert.
- to consider; meditate; ponder.
- to transfer; give.
- to start (an engine): He turned over the car motor.
- (of an engine) to start: The motor turned over without any trouble.
- Commerce. to purchase and then sell (goods or commodities).
- Commerce. to do business or sell goods to the amount of (a specified sum).
- Commerce. to invest or recover (capital) in some transaction or in the course of business.
- to apply to for aid; appeal to: When he was starting out as an artist he turned to his friends for loans.
- to begin to attend to or work at something: After the storm we turned to and cleaned up the debris.
- to change to: The ice turned to water.
- to fold (material, a hem, cuffs, etc.) up or over in order to alter a garment.
- to bring to the surface by digging: to turn up a shovelful of earth.
- to uncover; find.
- to intensify or increase.
- to happen; occur: Let's wait and see what turns up.
- to appear; arrive: She turned up at the last moment.
- to be recovered: I'm sure your watch will turn up eventually.
- to come to notice; be seen.
Words nearby turn
Idioms for turn
- not in the correct succession; out of proper order.
- at an unsuitable time; imprudently; indiscreetly: He spoke out of turn and destroyed the cordial atmosphere of the meeting.
Origin of turn
SYNONYMS FOR turn
OTHER WORDS FROM turnturn·a·ble, adjectivehalf-turned, adjectiveun·turn·a·ble, adjectiveun·turned, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for turn on (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for turn on (2 of 2)
- British the difference between a market maker's bid and offer prices, representing the market maker's profit
- a transaction including both a purchase and a sale
- at the point of change
- about to go rancid
- not in the correct or agreed order of succession
- improperly, inappropriately, or inopportunely
Derived forms of turnturnable, adjective
Word Origin for turn
Idioms and Phrases with turn on (1 of 2)
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]
Begin to display, employ, or exude, as in He turned on the charm. [Late 1800s]
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]
Be or cause to become excited or interested, as in His mother was the first to turn him on to classical music. [c. 1900]
Be or become sexually aroused, as in He blushed when she asked him what turned him on. [Second half of 1900s]
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.”
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)
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
- 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.