• Turn


    • UK IPA: /tɜːn/
    • US enPR: tûrn, IPA: /tɝn/
    • Rhymes: -ɜː(r)n
    • Homophones: tern


    From Middle English turnen, from Old English turnian, tyrnan ("to turn, rotate, revolve") and Old French torner ("to turn"), both from Latin tornāre ("to round off, turn in a lathe"), from tornus ("lathe"), from Ancient Greek τόρνος (tórnos, "a tool used for making circles"), from Proto-Indo-European *tere-, *ter-, *trē- ("to rub, rub by turning, turn, twist, bore"). Cognate with Old English þrāwan ("to turn, twist, wind"). More at throw.

    Full definition of turn


    1. Non-linear physical movement.
      1. (intransitive) Of a body, person, etc, to move around an axis through itself.
        the Earth turns;  turn on the spot
      2. (transitive) To change the direction or orientation of, especially by rotation.
        Turn the knob clockwise.
        • 1879, Richard Jefferies, The Amateur Poacher Chapter 1, As one sat on the sward behind the elm, with the back turned on the rick and nothing in front but the tall elms and the oaks in the other hedge, it was quite easy to fancy it the verge of the prairie with the backwoods close by.
        • 2013, Lee S. Langston, The Adaptable Gas Turbine, Turbines have been around for a long time—windmills and water wheels are early examples. The name comes from the Latin turbo, meaning vortex, and thus the defining property of a turbine is that a fluid or gas turns the blades of a rotor, which is attached to a shaft that can perform useful work.
      3. (intransitive) To change one's direction of travel.
        She turned right at the corner.
        • 1898, Winston Churchill, The Celebrity Chapter 2, I had occasion to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, , and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town.
        • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 1, I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.
      4. (transitive, figuratively) To change the course of.
      5. (transitive) To shape (something) symmetrically by rotating it against a stationary cutting tool, as on a lathe.
        She turned the table legs with care and precision.
      6. (by extension) To give form to; to shape or mould; to adapt.
      7. (transitive) To position (something) by folding it, or using its folds.
        turn the bed covers;  turn the pages
      8. (transitive, cricket) Of a bowler, to make (the ball) move sideways off the pitch when it bounces.
      9. (intransitive, cricket) Of a ball, to move sideways off the pitch when it bounces.
      10. (intransitive) To change condition or attitude.
        1. To become (begin to be).
          The leaves turn brown in autumn.   When I asked him for the money, he turned nasty.
          • 2012, April 21, Jonathan Jurejko, Newcastle 3-0 Stoke, The midfielder turned provider moments later, his exquisite reverse pass perfectly weighted for Cisse to race on to and slide past Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.
        2. To change the color of the leaves in the autumn.
          The hillside behind our house isn't generally much to look at, but once all the trees turn it's gorgeous.
        3. To change fundamentally; to metamorphose.
          Midas made everything turn to gold.   He turned into a monster every full moon.
          • 1907, Robert Chambers, The Younger Set Chapter 8, At her invitation he outlined for her the succeeding chapters with terse military accuracy; and what she liked best and best understood was avoidance of that false modesty which condescends, turning technicality into pabulum.
          • 2013, Henry Petroski, Geothermal Energy, Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame. With more settled people, animals were harnessed to capstans or caged in treadmills to turn grist into meal.
          1. (intransitive) To sour or spoil; to go bad.
            This milk has turned; it smells awful.
          2. (transitive) To make acid or sour; to ferment; to curdle.
            to turn cider or wine
        4. To hinge; to depend.
          The decision turns on a single fact.
          • Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)Conditions of peace certainly turn upon events of war.
        5. To rebel; to go against something formerly tolerated.
          The prisoners turned on the warden.
        6. To change personal condition.
          1. (professional wrestling) To change personalities, such as from being a face (good guy) to heel (bad guy) or vice versa.
          2. To become giddy; said of the head or brain.
          3. To sicken; to nauseate.
            The sight turned my stomach.
          4. To be nauseated; said of the stomach.
        7. (obsolete, reflexive) To change one's course of action; to take a new approach.
          • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts VII:And they made a calfe in those dayes, and offered sacrifice unto the ymage, and reioysed in the workes of theyr awne hondes. Then God turned himsilfe, and gave them up...
          • Bible, Exodus xxxii. 12Turn from thy fierce wrath.
          • John Locke (1632-1705)The understanding turns inward on itself, and reflects on its own operations.
          • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, Nobody Chapter 1, Little disappointed, then, she turned attention to "Chat of the Social World," gossip which exercised potent fascination upon the girl's intelligence.
        8. (transitive, usually with over) To complete.
          They say they can turn the parts in two days.
        9. (transitive, soccer) Of a player, to go past an opposition player with the ball in one's control.
          • 2012, May 5, Phil McNulty, Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool, Liverpool introduced Carroll for Spearing and were rewarded after 64 minutes when he put them back in contention. Stewart Downing blocked Jose Bosingwa's attempted clearance, which fell into the path of Carroll. He turned John Terry superbly before firing high past Cech.
        10. To undergo the process of turning on a lathe.
          Ivory turns well.
        11. (obstetrics) To bring down the feet of a child in the womb, in order to facilitate delivery.
        12. (printing, dated) To invert a type of the same thickness, as a temporary substitute for any sort which is exhausted.
        13. (archaic) To translate.
          to turn the Iliad




    (plural turns)
    Image:Turn-roundturn-tworoundturns.jpg|right|thumb|A: Turn (14)
    B: Round turn
    C: Two
    1. A change of direction or orientation.
      Give the handle a turn, then pull it.
      • 1910, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price Chapter 1, With just the turn of a shoulder she indicated the water front, where...lay the good ship, Mount Vernon, river packet, the black smoke already pouring from her stacks. In turn he smiled and also shrugged a shoulder.
    2. A movement of an object about its own axis in one direction that continues until the object returns to its initial orientation.
    3. A single loop of a coil.
    4. A chance to use (something) shared in sequence with others.
      They took turns playing with the new toy.
      • 1910, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price Chapter 1, With just the turn of a shoulder she indicated the water front, where...lay the good ship, Mount Vernon, river packet, the black smoke already pouring from her stacks. In turn he smiled and also shrugged a shoulder.
    5. One's chance to make a move in a game having two or more players.
    6. A figure in music, often denoted ~, consisting of the note above the one indicated, the note itself, the note below the one indicated, and the note itself again.
    7. (also turnaround) The time required to complete a project.
      They quote a three-day turn on parts like those.
    8. A fit or a period of giddiness.
      I've had a funny turn.
      • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde"Then you must know as well as the rest of us that there was something queer about that gentleman--something that gave a man a turn--I don't know rightly how to say it, sir, beyond this: that you felt in your marrow kind of cold and thin."
    9. A change in temperament or circumstance.
      She took a turn for the worse.
    10. (cricket) A sideways movement of the ball when it bounces (caused by rotation in flight)
    11. (poker) The fourth communal card in Texas hold 'em.
    12. (poker, obsolete) The flop (the first three community cards) in Texas hold 'em
    13. A deed done to another.
      One good turn deserves another.
      I felt that the man was of a vindictive nature, and would do me an evil turn if he found the opportunity...
    14. (rope) A pass behind or through an object.
    15. character; personality; nature
      • 1874, Marcus Clarke, For the Term of His Natural Life Chapter VIIIt was fortunate for his comfort, perhaps, that the man who had been chosen to accompany him was of a talkative turn, for the prisoners insisted upon hearing the story of the explosion a dozen times over, and Rufus Dawes himself had been roused to give the name of the vessel with his own lips.
    16. (soccer) An instances of going past an opposition player with the ball in one's control.


    • (change of direction or orientation)
    • (movement about an axis returning to the original orientation) 360° turn, complete rotation, complete turn, full rotation, full turn
    • (single loop of a coil) loop
    • chance to use (something) shared in sequence with others: go
    • one's chance to make a move in a game: go, move
    • (figure in music)
    • (time required to complete a project)
    • (fit or period of giddiness) dizziness, dizzy spell, giddiness
    • (change in temperament or circumstance) change, swing
    • (sideways movement of a cricket ball)


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