Meaning of TURN in English



1. to go around in circles

2. to make something turn around

3. to make something turn in circles very quickly

4. a turning movement

5. turning with a circular movement

6. to turn your head or your body

7. to turn your body when you are lying down

8. to change your direction when you are walking or driving

9. when a road or river changes direction

10. when a vehicle, ship etc turns over in an accident

11. to turn something upside down


1. to go around in circles

▷ turn /tɜːʳn/ [intransitive verb]

if something turns, it moves around a fixed central point :

▪ Slowly the wheels of the train began to turn.

▪ I heard the door knob turning, and then Frank opened the door and tiptoed in.

▪ As the propeller stopped turning, Grady ran up to the plane.

▷ go around also go round British /ˌgəʊ əˈraʊnd, ˌgəʊ ˈraʊnd/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to move in a continuous circular movement :

▪ When the fan goes around it forces the warm air back down.

▪ The gear was going round, but it didn’t seem to be catching on anything.

▷ spin /spɪn/ [intransitive verb]

to turn around many times very quickly :

▪ The ice skater began to spin faster and faster.

▪ The wheels were spinning in the mud, but the car wouldn’t move.

spin around also + round


▪ The boy was spinning around in his father’s desk chair.

▷ rotate/revolve /rəʊˈteɪtǁˈrəʊteɪt, rɪˈvɒlvǁrɪˈvɑːlv/ [intransitive verb]

to turn around and around a fixed point :

▪ The Earth rotates on its axis once every twenty-four hours.

▪ A disco ball revolved slowly over the empty dance floor.

▪ The stage rotates giving the audience a constantly changing view.

▷ go/run/drive etc around in circles also go/run/drive etc round in circles especially British /gəʊ əˌraʊnd ɪn ˈsɜːʳk ə lz, ˌgəʊ raʊnd ɪn ˈsɜːʳk ə lz/ [verb phrase]

to go, run, drive etc continuously or repeatedly around in a circular way :

▪ The children went round in circles till the music stopped.

▪ We were driving around in circles, weaving through the parking lot.

▷ go/run/drive etc around and around also go/run/drive etc round and round British /gəʊ əˌraʊnd ə nd əˈraʊnd, gəʊ ˌraʊnd ə nd ˈraʊnd/ [verb phrase]

to go around in circles many times :

▪ Billy will sit and watch his train going round and round on its little track for hours.

▪ The steers walked restlessly around and around their pen.

▷ whirl /wɜːʳl/ [intransitive verb]

to spin around extremely quickly, often in an uncontrolled way :

▪ The blades of the helicopter whirled powerfully overhead.

whirl around also + round


▪ Flies whirled round the piles of sticky sweets.

▪ Dust and sand were whirling around in the air, as the desert wind began to get stronger.

▷ spiral /ˈspaɪ ə rəl/ [intransitive verb]

to move slowly upwards or downwards in a circular way around a central point, while also moving either in towards the centre or out from it :

▪ Smoke spiralled upward from the chimney.

▪ We watched the leaves spiral down from the trees in the cold autumn wind.

▷ swirl /swɜːʳl/ [intransitive verb]

if water, dust, mist etc swirls, it keeps turning around quickly in a twisting, circular movement :

▪ Dust swirled like smoke in the evening sunshine.

swirl around also round


▪ Jessie’s pale dress swirled round her slender ankles.

▪ The wind swirling around the tree had blown all the snow away from its trunk.

▷ circle /ˈsɜːʳk ə l/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

if a bird or aircraft circles, it flies around above a particular place, waiting for something :

▪ We all looked towards the sky where the vultures were circling.

▪ The plane circled the runway several times before landing.

circle overhead/above etc

▪ Helicopters circled overhead, trying to get pictures of the crime scene.

▷ twirl /twɜːʳl/ [intransitive verb]

if someone twirls, they spin around very quickly, especially as part of a dance :

▪ Rachel took her father’s hand and twirled in and out under his arm.

twirl around/about

▪ Half a dozen couples were twirling about to a waltz.

2. to make something turn around

▷ turn /tɜːʳn/ [transitive verb]

to make something turn by moving it with your hand :

▪ Tim turned the handle slowly and pushed open the door.

▪ She put the key in the ignition and turned it, but nothing happened.

turn something around

so that it is facing the opposite direction

▪ If we turn the table around we can fit more chairs in the room.

▷ twist /twɪst/ [transitive verb]

to turn something with a quick firm circular movement :

▪ ‘I can’t get the top off.’ ‘Try twisting it the other way.’

▪ We twisted and tugged to get the mussels loose from their shells.

▷ wind /waɪnd/ [transitive verb]

to turn something such as a handle or part of a machine around and around, especially in order to make something move or start working :

▪ You wind the handle on the side to make the music play.

▪ She wound the car window down to speak to the police officer.

▪ My watch has stopped - I must have forgotten to wind it.

▷ swivel /ˈswɪv ə l/ [transitive verb]

to turn something around on a central rod or point, usually so that it is facing a different direction :

▪ He swivelled the camera on the tripod to follow her as she crossed the yard.

swivel something around also swivel something round


▪ She swivelled the computer screen around so that I could see it too.

▷ twiddle British /twirl American /ˈtwɪdl, twɜːʳl/ [transitive verb]

to turn something small backwards and forwards many times with your fingers, especially because you are bored, or are trying to make something work :

▪ She sat in the bar twirling the stem of her wine glass, wishing she were somewhere else.

▪ He kept twiddling the knobs on the radio trying to get a signal.

3. to make something turn in circles very quickly

▷ spin /spɪn/ [transitive verb]

to make something turn around and around extremely quickly :

▪ Spin the wheel of the bicycle to make sure that it is fastened correctly.

▪ He spun the dial on the padlock right, then left, then right again.

▷ twirl /twɜːʳl/ [transitive verb]

to repeatedly make something turn in circles or spin around, especially with your fingers :

▪ I’ve never been able to twirl a baton.

▪ He picked up a pen and twirled it between his fingers.

▪ The man, without answering, began to twirl the ends of his moustache.

▷ whirl /wɜːʳl/ [transitive verb]

to make something spin around in the air extremely quickly :

▪ Whirl the ingredients in a blender at high speed for a minute.

▪ The warriors approached, whirling their swords and spears in the air.

4. a turning movement

▷ turn /tɜːʳn/ [countable noun]

the circular movement that a person or object makes when turning something or being turned :

▪ She can do a 360-degree turn on water skis.

▪ Loosen the screw one complete turn in order to release the valve.

turn of

▪ With three swift turns of the wheel, he steered the boat away from the rocks.

▷ revolution /ˌrevəˈluːʃ ə n/ [countable noun]

one complete circular movement around a fixed or central point - use this in technical contexts :

▪ The shaft spins at 950 revolutions per minute.

▪ The planet rotates in the same direction as its revolution around the sun.

▷ spin /spɪn/ [countable/uncountable noun]

a very fast turn that is repeated many times :

▪ He made a quick spin to avoid the oncoming player.

spin of

▪ the spin of a propeller

5. turning with a circular movement

▷ revolving /rɪˈvɒlvɪŋǁ-ˈvɑːl-/ [adjective only before noun]

designed to turn with a circular movement :

▪ A revolving door led into the hotel lobby.

▪ The 28-story building is topped by a revolving restaurant that offers ever-changing views of the city.

▷ rotating /rəʊˈteɪtɪŋǁˈrəʊteɪtɪŋ/ [adjective only before noun]

able to turn with a circular movement - use this especially in technical contexts :

▪ The plastic is cut by a rotating disc.

▪ The stones are polished in a rotating drum full of abrasive powder.

6. to turn your head or your body

▷ turn /tɜːʳn/ [intransitive verb]

to turn your head or body so that you are looking in a different direction :

▪ Campbell turned and walked out of the room.

turn to

▪ ‘What do you think we should do?’ she said, turning to her husband.

turn to do something

▪ She heard the door opening and turned to see who was coming in.

▷ turn around also turn round British /ˌtɜːʳn əˈraʊnd, ˌtɜːʳn ˈraʊnd/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to turn your body so that you are looking in the opposite direction :

▪ Ian, turn round and face the front!

▪ I turned around quickly to see if anyone was following me.

▪ ‘Does my dress look OK?’ ‘Turn around and let me see the back.’

▷ turn away /ˌtɜːʳn əˈweɪ/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to turn so that you are no longer facing someone, especially because you want to avoid them :

▪ Alice turned away with tears in her eyes.

▪ The scene was so sickening I had to turn away.

turn away from

▪ She frowned and turned away from him without speaking.

▷ turn your back /ˌtɜːʳn jɔːʳ ˈbæk/ [verb phrase]

to turn so that you are no longer facing someone, especially because you are angry or disappointed, or because you are deliberately ignoring them :

▪ As soon as I turn my back, the children start to misbehave.

turn your back on

▪ Don’t turn your back on me - I’m talking to you!

▪ She turned her back on him and began to walk away.

▷ turn your head /ˌtɜːʳn jɔːʳ ˈhed/ [verb phrase]

to turn your head in order to look at someone or in order to look away from someone :

▪ She turned her head to avoid making eye contact with the beggar.

▪ Whenever Suzie walks into a room all the men immediately turn their heads.

▷ turn on your heel /ˌtɜːʳn ɒn jɔːʳ ˈhiːl/ [verb phrase]

to quickly and suddenly turn, especially before walking away :

▪ David angrily turned on his heel and marched towards the door.

▪ When her ex-husband entered the room, she turned on her heel and left.

▷ swing around also swing round British /ˌswɪŋ əˈraʊnd, ˌswɪŋ ˈraʊnd/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to turn around suddenly and quickly, especially because you are angry or surprised :

▪ He swung around at the sound of her voice and smiled at her.

▪ I felt a hand on my shoulder and swung round quickly to find Chris standing behind me.

▷ spin around also spin round British /ˌspɪn əˈraʊnd, ˌspɪn ˈraʊnd/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to turn around very quickly, especially because you are angry or because something unexpected has suddenly happened :

▪ The sudden crash made her spin round and look back down the passage.

▪ Dobbs yelled back and spun around with clenched fists, ready to fight.

▷ swivel /ˈswɪv ə l/ [intransitive verb]

to turn around quickly as if you are fixed to a central point, or when you are sitting in a chair which can turn round :

▪ Ralph swivelled in his chair and looked directly at Meg.

swivel around also + round


▪ Mr Tench swivelled round in astonishment as the men burst through his office door.

7. to turn your body when you are lying down

▷ turn over /ˌtɜːʳn ˈəʊvəʳ/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to change the position of your body while you are lying down, so that you are facing in a different direction :

▪ The bed squeaks every time I turn over.

▪ Turn over and I’ll give you a massage.

▪ He opened his eyes and turned over on his side, facing her.

▷ roll over /ˌrəʊl ˈəʊvəʳ/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

to turn your body so that it is facing the opposite direction, in a single smooth movement :

▪ The cat purred, rolled over on its back, and stretched.

▪ I heard the alarm clock, but I rolled over and went back to sleep.

8. to change your direction when you are walking or driving

▷ turn /tɜːʳn/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to change your direction when you are walking or driving :

▪ He saw a police car up ahead, so he turned and went down a side street.

▪ Soon after leaving harbour, the ships turned and headed north.

turn left/right

▪ Turn left at the next intersection.

turn back

▪ It’s getting late - I think we should turn back before it gets dark.

turn off

leave a street in order to go down another street

▪ Turn off Delaney Road just after the church.

turn onto/into

start going along another street after changing direction

▪ Turn onto Lowell Street, then go straight for three blocks.

turn a corner

▪ I turned a corner and nearly ran into Caroline.

▷ change direction /ˌtʃeɪndʒ də̇ˈrekʃ ə n/ [verb phrase]

to turn while you are moving so that you start going in a different direction :

▪ The horse abruptly changed direction, nearly throwing the rider off.

▪ Changing direction on skis isn’t difficult once you’ve learned the technique.

▷ change course /ˌtʃeɪndʒ ˈkɔːʳs/ [verb phrase]

if a vehicle, ship, or aircraft changes course, it changes the direction in which it is travelling :

▪ The yacht changed course and approached the island.

▪ The plane must change course to avoid flying through the storm.

▷ veer /vɪəʳ/ [intransitive verb]

if a vehicle or moving object veers, it suddenly and unexpectedly changes direction :

veer off/away/across etc

▪ The car suddenly veered across the road into oncoming traffic.

▪ The boat was heading for the rocks but at the last minute veered off in another direction.

▷ swerve /swɜːʳv/ [intransitive verb]

if a vehicle or moving object swerves, it suddenly changes direction, especially in order to avoid hitting something :

▪ The driver swerved to avoid a child, and crashed into a signpost.

swerve across/into/towards etc

▪ Dozens were injured when a passenger bus swerved into the wrong lane and slammed into another bus.

9. when a road or river changes direction

▷ bend /bend/ [countable noun]

the place where a road or river turns :

▪ The taxi went around the bend at an alarming speed.

bend in

▪ The balcony overlooked a wide bend in the river.

round a bend

▪ As we rounded the bend, I could see the town up ahead.

▷ curve /kɜːʳv/ [countable noun]

a place where there is a bend in the road :

▪ He lost control of the car on a sharp curve.

round a curve

▪ I rounded the curve looking for a place to pull over.

curve [intransitive verb]

▪ The road curves to the left as you go up the hill.

▷ turn also turning British /tɜːʳn, ˈtɜːʳnɪŋ/ [countable noun]

a place where you can turn and go into another road :

▪ Take the first turning after the traffic lights.

▪ We were supposed to take Highway 12, but I think we missed the turn.

▷ wind /waɪnd/ [intransitive verb]

if a road, path, or river winds, it frequently turns and changes direction, in smooth curves :

wind between/through/up etc

▪ A narrow road wound up the hillside towards the little house.

▪ The path wound through the orchard and between small beds of flowers.

wind its way

▪ The staircase appears almost to be floating on air, as it winds its way up three stories.

winding [adjective only before noun]

▪ She hated driving on the winding mountain roads at night.

▷ twist /twɪst/ [intransitive verb]

to frequently turn and change direction, especially in small but sharp turns :

twist up/through/towards etc

▪ A dry stream bed twisted through thick tree roots.

twist its way

▪ We approached Assisi via the dusty road that twists its way up Monte Subasio.

twisting [adjective only before noun]

▪ Wild flowers grew on either side of the twisting path.

▷ weave /wiːv/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to turn and change direction, especially around things, in smooth curves :

weave through/up/across etc

▪ The river weaved across the plain, towards the sea.

weave its way

▪ The old highway weaved its way through Tucson.

10. when a vehicle, ship etc turns over in an accident

▷ turn over /ˌtɜːʳn ˈəʊvəʳ/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if a vehicle turns over, it turns upside down, especially as a result of an accident :

▪ The car smashed into the post, turned over, and burst into flames.

▪ The train was travelling so fast that when it came off the rails it turned over onto its roof.

▷ roll over /ˌrəʊl ˈəʊvəʳ/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if a vehicle or ship rolls over, it turns upside down because it is not correctly balanced :

▪ The truck jack-knifed and then rolled over.

▪ Ships have stabilizers to prevent them from rolling over in rough seas.

▷ capsize /kæpˈsaɪzǁˈkæpsaɪz/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

if a boat capsizes, or someone or something capsizes it, it turns over in the water :

▪ The ship capsized in rough waters with the loss of 208 lives.

▪ People were fighting for places in the lifeboat, and there was a real danger of it capsizing.

▪ A huge wave struck the side of our boat, almost capsizing it.

▷ overturn /ˌəʊvəʳˈtɜːʳn/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

if a vehicle or boat overturns, or someone or something overturns it, it turns over :

▪ The truck had overturned, but the driver was not injured.

▪ The whole crew was drowned when their boat overturned in a storm.

▪ During the riots several cars were overturned and set on fire.

11. to turn something upside down

▷ turn over /ˌtɜːʳn ˈəʊvəʳ/ [transitive phrasal verb]

turn something over

▪ Do not turn your exam papers over until I tell you to.

▪ She turned the envelope over and began making notes on the back.

turn over something

▪ The children were turning over the rocks to see what was underneath.

▷ turn /tɜːʳn/ [transitive verb]

to turn something so that the other side of it is facing upwards or outwards :

▪ Continue to turn the fritter until both sides are golden brown.

▪ I’ll read the story and you turn the pages. OK, honey?

turn something upside down

▪ Take out the spark plugs and turn the cylinder block upside down.

▷ flip /flɪp/ [transitive verb]

to turn something over with a quick, sharp movement :

▪ Come help me flip this mattress.

flip something over

▪ She flipped the pancakes over with one smooth movement.

flip over something

▪ I flipped over the card to see what was written on the other side.

▷ invert /ɪnˈvɜːʳt/ [transitive verb] formal

to turn something upside down :

▪ A camera inverts the image it receives.

▪ Invert the cake and pan on a wire rack and remove the pan.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .