gracefully shaped: a well-turned ankle.
gracefully and concisely expressed: a well-turned phrase.

Origin of well-turned

First recorded in 1610–20
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for well-turned

Contemporary Examples of well-turned

  • She was perfectly composed, occasionally flashing a wry smile and speaking in thoughtful, well-turned phrases.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Woman Who Tried to Kill Me

    Lloyd Grove

    May 29, 2009

Historical Examples of well-turned

  • The scholar, too, was remembered with a toast, to which he replied with well-turned phrases.

  • She liked a well-turned sentence, and repeated it softly to herself.

    Mammon and Co.

    E. F. Benson

  • When he had said we grow old by moments, was it more than just a well-turned phrase?

    The Blower of Bubbles

    Arthur Beverley Baxter

  • He thought of her humorous eyes, and of her strong, well-turned chin.

  • His well-turned compliments were as fine as his smart repartees.

    Haunted London

    Walter Thornbury

British Dictionary definitions for well-turned


adjective (well turned when postpositive)

(of a phrase, speech, etc) apt and pleasingly sonorous
having a pleasing shapea well-turned leg
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