turns; turned; turning
turns; turned; turning
Learner's definition of TURN
1 : to move around a central point
[no object] — often + around
He turned the key and opened the door.
She slowly turned the doorknob.
Turn the steering wheel all the way to the left.
Someone turned the switch and the lights came on.
2 a : to cause your body or a part of your body to face a different direction
They turned and walked away.
She turned to leave—but stopped.
She turned (around) to look at me.
They turned (away) from the gruesome sight.
He turned aside/sideways to let me pass.
The patient turned onto his side.
The photographer asked her to turn slightly to her/the left.
[+ object] b : to cause (something or a side of something) to face an opposite or different direction
Turn the picture (around) so that I can see it.
I think you should turn [=flip] the pancakes now.
Turn the page (over).
The tag says to turn the shirt inside out before washing it.
He turned up/down the collar of his jacket.
Before planting the seeds, she turned the soil. [=brought lower levels of soil to the surface by digging]
3 a : to move in a particular direction and especially toward the left or right
A car turned into the driveway.
He ran down the street and turned toward the park.
Turn left at the next intersection.
Turn right onto Main Street.
b [no object] : to begin to go in a different direction c [no object], of a tide : to begin to move in the opposite direction
He turned the light in the direction of the noise.
She turned the car into the driveway.
The bicyclists turned the corner [=they rode around the corner] at full speed.
4 : to change into a different state or form
— often + into or to
The leaves turn [=they change color] in the fall.
The milk has turned. [=it has become sour]
His luck turned, and he lost all his winnings.
The argument quickly turned into a fistfight.
The sofa can turn into a bed.
He has seen his little girl turn into a bright, beautiful woman.
Water turns to ice at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Her cereal had turned to mush.
[+ object] — often + into or to
The witch turned the prince into a frog.
The studio plans to turn the book into a movie.
There are plans to turn the old school into an apartment building.
The cold weather turned the water to ice.
Her stare, it was said, could turn men to stone.
5 a [linking verb] : to change to a different state, condition, etc. : become
b [+ object] : to cause (someone or something) to change in a specified way
The milk has turned sour.
The weather turned cold overnight.
His hair was beginning to turn gray.
She turned red with embarrassment.
It was beginning to turn dark outside.
an actress turned director [=an actress who became a director]
Two of his teammates have decided to turn pro. [=to become professional athletes]
She was a spy who turned traitor [=became a traitor] and gave secret information to the enemy.
c [linking verb] : to reach a particular age
A drought would turn things from bad to worse for the farmers.
The events of his life had turned [=made] him bitter.
The sun turned her skin (a) golden brown.
6 [+ object] : to change the volume, temperature, channel, etc., of (something) by pressing a button, moving a switch, etc.
Turn the TV to channel 4.
He turned the oven to 400 degrees.
The lights in the room had been turned low.
— see also turn down (below), turn up (below)
7 [+ object] : to direct (your thoughts, attention, etc.) toward or away from something : to start or stop thinking about or paying attention to someone or something
He turned his thoughts to home. [=he began to think of home]
She turned her attention to the child.
I could not turn my mind away from the idea.
Their efforts were turned to defending the country's borders.
8 [+ object] : to earn (a profit) 9 [+ object] : to perform (a particular action)
The team turned a double play to end the inning.
She learned how to turn a cartwheel.
They were living on the streets and turning tricks [=taking money for sex] to survive.
10 [+ object] : to form (a sentence, phrase, etc.) in a particular way 11 [+ object] : to injure (your ankle) by moving it in an unnatural way 12 [+ object] : to create or shape (something) from a piece of wood or metal by using a special machine (called a lathe) ◊ In addition to the phrases shown below, turn occurs in many idioms that are shown at appropriate entries throughout the dictionary. For example, turn a blind eye can be found at 1blind and turn the tables can be found at 1table.
turn against[phrasal verb]
1 a turn against (someone or something) : to stop supporting or being friendly to (someone or something) b turn (someone) against (someone) : to cause (someone) to stop being friendly toward (someone) 2 turn (something) against (someone) : to use (something) in a way that harms (someone)
turn around[phrasal verb]or chiefly Britishturn round
1 turn around or turn around (something) or turn (something) around : to cause a vehicle to travel in the opposite direction 2 a : to change and become better or more successful
b turn around (something) or turn (something) around : to change (something) in a way that makes it better or more successful
Recently, the company has turned around, and it should have a profitable year.
The economy should turn around soon.
3 turn around and (do something)informal : to act in an unexpected or surprising way by doing (something specified)
turn away[phrasal verb]
turn away (someone) or turn (someone) away
: to refuse to allow (someone) to enter a place
All the seats were sold and a large crowd had to be turned away.
The homeless shelter will not turn away people in need.
We turn away hundreds of applicants each year.
turn back[phrasal verb]
1 a : to move in the opposite direction in order to return to a place b : to return to an earlier place or time
Turn back to the first page.
Once you start the process, there's no turning back. [=you must continue the process]
turn back (someone or something) or turn (someone or something) back
2 a : to force (someone or something) to move in an opposite direction
b : to force (someone or something) to return to a place
They fought to turn back the enemy.
If I could turn back (the hands of) time [=return to a condition that existed in the past], I would.
turn down[phrasal verb]
1 turn down (something) or turn (something) down : to lower the volume, temperature, etc., of something by pressing a button, moving a switch, etc.
Please turn down the heat.
The lights in the restaurant were turned down low.
He turned the volume down on the TV. = He turned down the TV.
Turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
— see also 1turn 6 (above)
2 turn down (something) or turn (something) down : to fold (something) down or back 3 turn down (someone or something) or turn (someone or something) down : to say no to (someone or something) especially in a polite way
She turned the offer down.
They turned down our invitation.
I asked her out , but she turned me down.
turn in[phrasal verb]
1 : to enter a place by turning from a road or path
turn (something) in or turn in (something)
3 a chiefly US : to give (something) to a person who will review or accept it b : to return (something that you have borrowed, found, etc.)
c : to perform or produce (something)
Please turn in [=return] the art supplies when you are finished with them.
She found a set of keys and turned them in to the secretary at the front desk.
Has anyone turned in a wallet recently?
The suspended officer was asked to turn in his badge and gun.
turn (someone) in
4 a : to give control of (someone) to the police or some other authority b : to give information about the location of (someone who has committed a crime) to the police or some other authority
turn off[phrasal verb]
1 : to go in a direction that moves you away from a straight course or main road 2 turn off (something) or turn (something) off : to stop the operation or flow of (something) by pressing a button, moving a switch, etc. 3 turn (someone) offinformal or turn off (someone) : to cause a strong feeling of dislike in (someone) : to be unappealing to (someone)
turn on[phrasal verb]
1 turn on (something) or turn (something) on : to cause (something) to work or flow by pressing a button, moving a switch, etc. — often used figuratively 2 turn (someone) oninformal or turn on (someone) : to cause (someone) to feel excitement or enjoyment : to be appealing to (someone) 3 turn (someone) on to (something) : to cause (someone) to use or become interested in (something) for the first time 4 turn on (someone or something) : to attack or criticize (someone or something) in a sudden or unexpected way
turn on/upon (something)
5 a : to be determined or decided by (something) b : to have (something) as a main subject or interest 6 turn (something) on (someone or something) : to use (something, such as a weapon) to harm, stop, or kill (someone or something)
turn out[phrasal verb]
1 : to leave your home in order to participate in or do something 2 a : to happen, end, or develop in a particular way
b turn out to be (something) — used to say that something or someone eventually becomes something or is found to have a particular identity, quality, ability, etc.
Despite some initial difficulties, everything turned out well.
Things don't always turn out the way you want them to.
As it/things turned out, I didn't need an umbrella after all.
c turn out like (someone or something) : to become like (someone or something)
The play turned out to be a success.
The animal in the bushes turned out to be a cat.
I hope I turn out to be right.
turn out (something) or turn (something) out
3 a : to cause (something) to face or point outward b : to cause (a lamp, flashlight, etc.) to no longer produce light by pushing a button, moving a switch, etc. c : to produce (something) d : to cause (something, such as a pocket) to become inside out e : to empty the contents of (something) especially for cleaning or organizing
turn (someone) out or turn out (someone)
4 a : to force (someone) to leave a place or position b : to dress (yourself or someone else) in a careful or fancy way — usually (be) turned out
turn over[phrasal verb]
1 a : to move and face the opposite direction — sometimes used figuratively b turn over (someone or something) or turn (someone or something) over : to cause (someone or something) to face the opposite direction 2 of an engine : to start to work
turn over (something) or turn (something) over
3 a : to earn (a particular amount of money) b US, sports : to allow the other team to get possession of (a ball) 4 turn (someone or something) over to (someone) or turn over (someone or something) to (someone) : to give the control or responsibility of (someone or something) to (someone)
I am turning the job over to you. [=I am giving you the job]
He turned the property over to his niece.
The case has been turned over to the district attorney.
The suspect was turned over to the police on Wednesday.
5 turn (something) over to (something) or turn over (something) to (something) : to change the use of (something, such as land or a building) 6 turn over (something) in your mind or turn (something) over in your mind : to think about (something) in order to understand it or make a decision 7 chiefly British : to change the channel on a television set 8 turn over (a place)British slang or turn (a place) over : to make a mess of (a place) while robbing it
turn to[phrasal verb]
1 turn to (someone or something) : to go to (someone or something) for support, information, etc. — often + for
She turned to a friend for help.
He turned to the employment agency for support.
Turn to [=refer to] the handout for the exact figures.
turn to (something)
2 a : to become involved in or with (something) b : to begin to deal with (something different) as a topic c : to turn the pages of a book, magazine, etc., until you have reached the desired or specified page
turn up[phrasal verb]
1 a : to be found usually unexpectedly b : to be found to be in a specified condition c turn up (something) or turn (something) up : to find or discover (something) 2 : to happen unexpectedly 3 a : to arrive at a place
b : to appear in a place
And who should turn up at the ceremony but John!
Things were looking bad, but he was sure someone would turn up to save him.
turn up (something) or turn (something) up
4 a : to increase the volume, temperature, etc., of something by pressing a button, moving a switch, etc. b : to make (a skirt, a pair of pants, etc.) shorter
— opposite let down at 1let
Learner's definition of TURN
1 : an opportunity or responsibility to do or use something before or after other people — often followed by to + verb
Whose turn is it to do the dishes?
It's her turn to bat.
You've made me suffer in the past, so now it's your turn to suffer!
2 : an act of turning something around a central point
Give the wheel another turn.
He tightened the screw with one last turn.
With a turn of the switch, the lights came back on.
3 : an act of changing the direction that someone or something is facing or moving in 4 : a change in the state or condition of something — usually used with take
The stock market took a sharp downward turn today.
The conversation suddenly took an unexpected turn when he announced that he was getting married.
Business took a turn for the worse/better. [=it became worse/better]
There has been a dramatic turn of events. [=something important and surprising has happened]
It's hard to follow all the twists and turns [=the surprising changes] of the plot.
5 a US : a place where a road connects to another road that goes in a different direction b : a place where a road, path, etc., changes direction
There is a dangerous turn up ahead.
The runners are coming down the straightaway and heading into the turn.
The road through the mountains has many twists and turns. [=curves and frequent changes of direction]
6 : an act that affects someone in a particular way
He did me a nasty turn.
You have done me a few good turns, so now let me help you.
One good turn deserves another. [=if someone does something nice for you, you should do something nice for that person]
7 : a public appearance or performance 8 old-fashioned : a short walk or ride — usually singular 9 old-fashioned : a sudden feeling of being frightened — usually singular 10 British, old-fashioned : a sudden, short period of feeling slightly ill, faint, or dizzy — usually singular
at every turn
: in a constant or continuous way : each time a person tries to do something
— used to describe different things that happen one after another
The book was praised and criticized by turns.
The stories in the collection are, by turns, curious, tragic, disturbing, and heartening.
done to a turnBritish
: cooked, performed, etc., in a perfect way : done to perfection
1 : following one after another in a particular order
Each witness in turn gave his or her version of what happened.
The algae feeds the fish, which in turn become food for larger sea animals.
on the turnBritish
: about to start changing
out of turn
1 : not at the time you are expected to do something according to a set order 2 : at a wrong or improper time or place
take turnsalso Britishtake it in turns
◊ If people take turns doing or using something or take it in turns to do or use something, they do or use it one after another in order to share the responsibility or opportunity of doing or using it.
the turn of the century
: the beginning of a new century
turn of phrase
: a way of saying or describing something
turn of speedBritish
: an increase in speed or progress