Turn - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |tɜːrn|  American pronunciation of the word turn
Brit.  |tɜːn|  British pronunciation of the word turn


- a circular segment of a curve (syn: bend, crook, twist)
- the act of changing or reversing the direction of the course (syn: turning)
he took a turn to the right
- (game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession (syn: play)
it is my turn
- an unforeseen development (syn: twist)
events suddenly took an awkward turn
- a movement in a new direction (syn: turning)
the turning of the wind
- the act of turning away or in the opposite direction
he made an abrupt turn away from her
- turning or twisting around (in place) (syn: twist)
- a time period for working (after which you will be relieved by someone else) (syn: go, spell, tour)
- (sports) a division during which one team is on the offensive (syn: bout, round)
- a short performance that is part of a longer program (syn: act, bit, number, routine)
- a favor for someone
he did me a good turn
- taking a short walk out and back
we took a turn in the park


- change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense
The mugger turned and fled before I could see his face
She turned from herself and learned to listen to others' needs
- undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
We turned from Socialism to Capitalism
The people turned against the President when he stole the election
- undergo a change or development (syn: become)
The water turned into ice
He turned traitor
- cause to move around or rotate
turn a key
turn your palm this way
- change to the contrary (syn: reverse)
the tides turned against him
public opinion turned when it was revealed that the president had an affair with a White House intern
- pass to the other side of (syn: move around)
turn the corner
- pass into a condition gradually, take on a specific property or attribute; become (syn: grow)
The weather turned nasty
- let (something) fall or spill from a container (syn: release)
turn the flour onto a plate
- move around an axis or a center
The wheels are turning
- cause to move around a center so as to show another side of (syn: turn over)
turn a page of a book
- to send or let go
They turned away the crowd at the gate of the governor's mansion
- to break and turn over earth especially with a plow (syn: plough, plow)
turn the earth in the Spring
- shape by rotating on a lathe or cutting device or a wheel
turn the legs of the table
turn the clay on the wheel
- change color
In Vermont, the leaves turn early
- twist suddenly so as to sprain (syn: rick, sprain, twist, wrench, wrick)
I turned my ankle and couldn't walk for several days
- cause to change or turn into something different;assume new characteristics
The princess turned the frog into a prince by kissing him
The alchemists tried to turn lead into gold
- accomplish by rotating
turn a somersault
turn cartwheels
- get by buying and selling
the company turned a good profit after a year
- cause to move along an axis or into a new direction
turn your face to the wall
turn the car around
turn your dance partner around
- channel one's attention, interest, thought, or attention toward or away from something
The pedophile turned to boys for satisfaction
people turn to mysticism at the turn of a millennium
- cause (a plastic object) to assume a crooked or angular form (syn: bend, deform, flex, twist)
the strong man could turn an iron bar
- alter the functioning or setting of
turn the dial to 10
turn the heat down
- direct at someone
She turned a smile on me
They turned their flashlights on the car
- have recourse to or make an appeal or request for help or information to (syn: call on)
She turned to her relatives for help
- go sour or spoil (syn: ferment, sour, work)
The cream has turned--we have to throw it out
- become officially one year older
She is turning 50 this year

Extra examples

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.

They turned and walked away.

She turned to leave—but stopped.

He turned aside to let me pass.

The patient turned onto his side.

The photographer asked her to turn slightly to her left.

He turned himself around to see the back of his shirt in the mirror.

You have to wait your turn in line.

Is it my turn yet?

Give the wheel another turn.

He tightened the screw with one last turn.

With a turn of the switch, the lights came back on.

Phrasal verbs

turn around  — turning in an opposite direction or position
turn away  — move so as not face somebody or something
turn back  — retrace one's course
turn down  — refuse to accept
turn in  — make an entrance by turning from a road

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Word forms

I/you/we/they: turn
he/she/it: turns
present participle: turning
past tense: turned
past participle: turned
singular: turn
plural: turns
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