[ yoo-turn ]

  1. a U-shaped turn made by a vehicle so as to head in the opposite direction from its original course.

  2. a reversal of policy, tactics, or the like, resembling such a maneuver.

verb (used without object)
  1. to execute a U-turn: to U-turn into oncoming traffic.

Origin of U-turn

First recorded in 1925–30

Words Nearby U-turn

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use U-turn in a sentence

  • They exchanged so-longs, and Kavaalen backed, and made a U-turn, moving off in the direction of Rosemont.

    Murder in the Gunroom | Henry Beam Piper
  • Watch for stop signs and street signals; no U-turn on through streets; turns in either direction at intersections.

    North Dakota | Various
  • No U-turn on through streets and no left turns out of alleys.

    North Dakota | Various
  • The two dogs streaked back to their cart and the driver made a U turn that brought him up beside Joe's wagon.

    The Lost Wagon | James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • He twisted the car into the traffic again, and with a swift U-turn, headed the coupe toward home.

British Dictionary definitions for U-turn


  1. a turn made by a vehicle in the shape of a U, resulting in a reversal of direction

  2. a complete change in direction of political or other policy

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