Meaning of TURN in English


transcription, транскрипция: [ tɜ:(r)n ]

( turns, turning, turned)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Note: 'Turn' is used in a large number of other expressions which are explained under other words in the dictionary. For example, the expression ‘turn over a new leaf’ is explained at 'leaf'.


When you turn or when you turn part of your body, you move your body or part of your body so that it is facing in a different or opposite direction.

He turned abruptly and walked away...

He sighed, turning away and surveying the sea...

He turned his head left and right...

VERB : V , V prep / adv , V n adv / prep

Turn around or turn round means the same as turn .

I felt a tapping on my shoulder and I turned around...

Turn your upper body round so that your shoulders are facing to the side.



When you turn something, you move it so that it is facing in a different or opposite direction, or is in a very different position.

They turned their telescopes towards other nearby galaxies...

She had turned the bedside chair to face the door...

The lid, turned upside down, served as a coffee table.

VERB : V n prep / adv , V n to-inf , V-ed


When something such as a wheel turns , or when you turn it, it continually moves around in a particular direction.

As the wheel turned, the potter shaped the clay...

The engine turned a propeller.

VERB : V , V n


When you turn something such as a key, knob, or switch, or when it turns , you hold it and twist your hand, in order to open something or make it start working.

Turn a special key, press the brake pedal, and your car’s brakes lock...

Turn the heat to very low and cook for 20 minutes...

I tried the doorknob and it turned.

VERB : V n , V n prep / adv , V


When you turn in a particular direction or turn a corner, you change the direction in which you are moving or travelling.

Now turn right to follow West Ferry Road...

The man with the umbrella turned the corner again.

VERB : V prep / adv , V n

Turn is also a noun.

You can’t do a right-hand turn here.



The point where a road, path, or river turns , is the point where it has a bend or curve in it.

...the corner where Tenterfield Road turned into the main road.

VERB : V prep / adv , also V

Turn is also a noun.

...a sharp turn in the road.



When the tide turns , it starts coming in or going out.

There was not much time before the tide turned.



When you turn a page of a book or magazine, you move it so that is flat against the previous page, and you can read the next page.

He turned the pages of a file in front of him.

VERB : V n


If you turn a weapon or an aggressive feeling on someone, you point it at them or direct it at them.

He tried to turn the gun on me...

The crowd than turned their anger on Prime Minister James Mitchell.

VERB : V n on n , V n on n


If you turn to a particular page in a book or magazine, you open it at that page.

To order, turn to page 236.

VERB : V to n


If you turn your attention or thoughts to a particular subject or if you turn to it, you start thinking about it or discussing it.

We turned our attention to the practical matters relating to forming a company...

We turn now to the British news.

VERB : V n to n , V to n


If you turn to someone, you ask for their help or advice.

For assistance, they turned to one of the city’s most innovative museums...

VERB : V to n


If you turn to a particular activity, job, or way of doing something, you start doing or using it.

These communities are now turning to recycling in large numbers...

VERB : V to/from n / -ing


To turn or be turned into something means to become that thing.

A prince turns into a frog in this cartoon fairytale...

The hated dictator had turned his country into one of the poorest police states in Europe...

VERB : V into/to n , V n into/to n


You can use turn before an adjective to indicate that something or someone changes by acquiring the quality described by the adjective.

If the bailiff thinks that things could turn nasty he will enlist the help of the police...

= become

V-LINK : V adj


If something turns a particular colour or if something turns it a particular colour, it becomes that colour.

The sea would turn pale pink and the sky blood red...

Her contact lenses turned her eyes green.

V-LINK : V colour , V n colour


You can use turn to indicate that there is a change to a particular kind of weather. For example, if it turns cold, the weather starts being cold.

If it turns cold, cover plants...

V-LINK : V adj


If a situation or trend takes a particular kind of turn , it changes so that it starts developing in a different or opposite way.

The scandal took a new turn over the weekend.

N-COUNT : with supp , oft N in n


If a business turns a profit, it earns more money than it spends. ( AM BUSINESS; in BRIT, use make , return )

The firm will be able to service debt and still turn a modest profit...

VERB : no passive , V n


When someone turns a particular age, they pass that age. When it turns a particular time, it passes that time.

It was his ambition to accumulate a million dollars before he turned thirty...

VERB : V n


Turn is used in expressions such as the turn of the century and the turn of the year to refer to a period of time when one century or year is ending and the next one is beginning.

They fled to South America around the turn of the century.

N-SING : the N of n


When someone turns a wooden or metal object that they are making, they shape it using a special tool.

...the joys of making a living from turning wood.

VERB : V n


If it is your turn to do something, you now have the duty, chance, or right to do it, when other people have done it before you or will do it after you.

Tonight it’s my turn to cook...

Let each child have a turn at fishing...

N-COUNT : usu with poss , oft N to-inf , N at -ing , N -ing


If you say that someone is having a turn , you mean they feel suddenly very unwell for a short period of time. ( BRIT INFORMAL )



see also turning


You can use by turns to indicate that someone has two particular emotions or qualities, one after the other.

His tone was by turns angry and aggrieved.

PHRASE : PHR with group , PHR with v


If there is a particular turn of events , a particular series of things happen.

They were horrified at this unexpected turn of events.



If you say that something happens at every turn , you are emphasizing that it happens frequently or all the time, usually so that it prevents you from achieving what you want.

Its operations were hampered at every turn by inadequate numbers of trained staff...

PHRASE : PHR after v , PHR with cl [ emphasis ]


If you do someone a good turn , you do something that helps or benefits them.

He did you a good turn by resigning...

PHRASE : usu PHR after v


If someone turns a place inside out or upside down , they search it very thoroughly and usually make it very untidy.

They hadn’t found a scrap of evidence though they had turned his flat inside out.

PHRASE : V inflects


If something such as a system or way of life is turned inside out or upside down , it is changed completely, making people confused or upset.

He felt too shocked to move. His world had been turned upside down.

PHRASE : V inflects


You use in turn to refer to actions or events that are in a sequence one after the other, for example because one causes the other.

One of the members of the surgical team leaked the story to a fellow physician who, in turn, confided in a reporter.

PHRASE : PHR with cl / group


If each person in a group does something in turn , they do it one after the other in a fixed or agreed order.

There were cheers for each of the women as they spoke in turn.

PHRASE : PHR after v


If you speak out of turn or talk out of turn , you say something that you do not have the right or authority to say.

I hope I haven’t spoken out of turn.

PHRASE : V inflects


If two or more people take turns to do something, or in British English take it in turns to do something, they do it one after the other several times, rather than doing it together.

We took turns to drive the car...

PHRASE : V inflects , oft PHR to-inf


If a situation takes a turn for the worse , it suddenly becomes worse. If a situation takes a turn for the better , it suddenly becomes better.

Her condition took a sharp turn for the worse.

PHRASE : V inflects

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.