American English

Definition of turn verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they turn
    he / she / it turns
    past simple turned
    -ing form turning
    jump to other results
    move around
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to move or make something move around a central point The wheels of the car began to turn. I can't get the screw to turn. turn something (+ adv./prep.) He turned the key in the lock. She turned the wheel sharply to the left.
  2. change position/direction
  3. 2[intransitive, transitive] to move your body or part of your body so as to face or start moving in a different direction We turned and headed for home. She turned to look at me. + adv./prep. He turned back to his work. I turned away and looked out of the window. turn something (+ adv./prep.) He turned his back to the wall. She turned her head away. see also turn over
  4. 3[transitive] turn something + adv./prep. to move something so that it is in a different position or facing a different direction She turned the chair on its side to repair it. Turn the sweater inside out before you wash it. see also turn over
  5. 4 [intransitive, transitive] to change the direction you are moving or traveling in; to make something change the direction it is moving in turn (into something) He turned into a narrow street. turn something The man turned the corner and disappeared. turn something into something I turned the car into the garage.
  6. 5[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) (of a road or river) to curve in a particular direction The road turns to the left after the church. The river turns north at this point.
  7. aim/point
  8. 6 [transitive, intransitive] to aim or point something in a particular direction turn something (on/to somebody/something/yourself) Police turned a water cannon on the rioters. He turned the gun on himself. She looked at him then turned her attention back to me. turn to somebody/something/yourself His thoughts turned to his dead wife.
  9. of tide in ocean
  10. 7[intransitive] to start to come in or go out The tide is turning—we'd better get back.
  11. let someone or something go
  12. 8[transitive] to make or let someone or something go into a particular place or state turn something + adv./prep. They turned the horse into the field. turn something + adj. to turn the dogs loose
  13. fold
  14. 9[transitive] turn something + adv./prep. to fold something in a particular way She turned down the blankets and climbed into bed. He turned up the collar of his coat and hurried out into the rain.
  15. cartwheel/somersault
  16. 10[transitive, no passive] turn something to perform a movement by moving your body in a circle to turn cartwheels/somersaults
  17. page
  18. 11[transitive, intransitive] if you turn a page of a book or magazine, you move it so that you can read the next page turn something He sat turning the pages idly. turn to something Turn to p. 23.
  19. game
  20. 12[intransitive, transitive] turn (something) (around) if a game turns or someone turns it, it changes the way it is developing so that a different person or team starts to win
  21. become
  22. 13linking verb to change into a particular state or condition; to make something do this + adj. The leaves were turning brown. The weather has turned cold. He turned nasty when we refused to give him the money. He decided to turn professional. turn something + adj. The heat turned the milk sour. + noun She turned a deathly shade of white when she heard the news. He's a lawyer turned politician (= he used to be a lawyer but is now a politician). Which Word?become / get / go / turnThese verbs are used frequently with the following adjectives:
    become ~get ~go ~turn ~
    involvedused towrongblue
    Become is more formal than get. Both describe changes in people’s emotional or physical state, or natural or social changes. Go is usually used for negative changes. Turn is used for changes of color and changes in the weather.
  23. age/time
  24. 14linking verb (not used in the progressive tenses) + noun to reach or pass a particular age or time She turns 21 in June. It's turned midnight.
  25. stomach
  26. 15[intransitive, transitive] turn (your stomach) when your stomach turns or something turns your stomach, you feel as though you will vomit
  27. wood
  28. 16[transitive] turn something to shape something on a lathe to turn a chair leg turned boxes and bowls
  29. Idioms
    as it/things turned out
    jump to other results
    as was shown or proved by later events I didn't need my umbrella, as it turned out (= because it didn't rain).
    be well, badly, etc. turned out
    jump to other results
    to be well, badly, etc. dressed
    turn around and do something (informal)
    jump to other results
    used to report what someone says or does, when this is surprising or annoying How could she turn around and say that, after all I've done for her?
    Phrasal Verbsturn against somebodyturn aroundturn aroundturn somebodyaway (from something)turn backturn somebody/somethingdownturn somethingdownturn inturn somebodyinturn somethinginturn in on yourselfturn (from something) into somethingturn somebody/something (from something) into somethingturn offturn offturn somebodyoffturn somethingoffturn on somebodyturn on somethingturn somebodyonturn somebody on (to something)turn somethingonturn outturn somebody/somethingoutturn somebody out (of/from something)turn somethingoutturn overturn over somethingturn somethingoverturn somebodyover to somebodyturn somethingover to somebodyturn somethingover to somethingturn to somebody/somethingturn upturn somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: turn