American English

Definition of turn noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1an act of turning someone or something around Give the handle a few turns.
  2. of road/vehicle
  3. 2a change in direction in a vehicle Make a left/right turn into West Street. see also three-point turn, U-turn
  4. 3a place where a road leads away from the one you are traveling on
  5. 4a bend or corner in a road a lane full of twists and turns
  6. time
  7. 5the time when someone in a group of people should or is allowed to do something When it's your turn, take another card. Please wait your turn. Whose turn is it to cook? Steve took a turn driving while I slept.
  8. change
  9. 6an unusual or unexpected change in what is happening a surprising turn of events His health has taken a turn for the worse (= suddenly got worse). Events took a dramatic turn in the weeks that followed. The book is,by turns, funny and very sad.
  10. performance
  11. 7a short performance or piece of entertainment such as a song, etc. Everyone got up on stage to do a turn. see also star turn
  12. walk
  13. 8(old-fashioned) a short walk We took a turn around the park.
  14. illness
  15. 9(old-fashioned) a feeling of illness a funny turn (= a feeling that you may faint) Grandma had one of her turns.
  16. Idioms
    at every turn
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    everywhere or every time you try and do something At every turn I met with disappointment. Her ideas were blocked at every turn.
    done to a turn
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    cooked for exactly the right amount of time
    give somebody a turn (old-fashioned)
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    to frighten or shock someone You gave me quite a turn, creeping up on me like that!
    (do somebody) a good turn
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    (to do) something that helps someone Well, that's my good turn for the day.
    1. 1one after the other in a particular order The children called out their names in turn.
    2. 2as a result of something in a series of events Increased production will, in turn, lead to increased profits.
    one good turn deserves another (saying)
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    you should help someone who has helped you
    speak/talk out of turn
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    to say something that you should not because it is the wrong situation or because it offends someone
    take turns (in something/to do something)
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     if people take turns to do something, they do it one after the other to make sure it is done fairly The male and female birds take turns in sitting on the eggs. The kids took turns on the swing.
    the turn of the century/year
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    the time when a new century/year starts It was built at the turn of the century.
    a turn of mind
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    a particular way of thinking about things
    a turn of phrase
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    a particular way of describing something
    a turn of the screw
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    an extra amount of pressure, cruelty, etc. added to a situation that is already difficult to bear or understand
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: turn