turn to good account

Use for one's benefit, as in He turned the delay to good account, using the time to finish correspondence. This idiom, first recorded in 1878, uses account in the sense of “a reckoning.”

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