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turn - definition and synonyms


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verb turn pronunciation in American English /tɜrn/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleturning
past tenseturned
past participleturned
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  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to change the position of your body or head so that you are facing in a different direction
    She turned and smiled at me.
    He turned his head and looked around the room.
    turn away: Lopez just glared at the other man and then turned away.
    turn over: I put the blanket over my head, turned over, and went to sleep.
    turn around: The girls in front turned around and grinned.
    turn back: He turned back just in time to see her disappearing around the corner.
    turn someone/something away (from someone/something): She turned her face away, desperate to avoid his kiss.
    turn to do something: The whole audience turned to stare at the latecomers.
    turn to: Maria turned to the reporters and said: “I’m innocent.”
    turn something toward something /someone: The rescued men turned their heads toward the ocean and thought of their lost comrades.
    1. a.
      [transitive] to change the position of something so that it is pointing in a different direction
      turn something around: Turn your chairs around so you’re facing me.
      turn something on someone/something: The attacker killed three people before turning the gun on himself.
      turn something over: Turn the tape over and press “Play.”
  2. 2
    [intransitive] to change the direction in which you are moving or traveling
    turn around/toward/into etc.: We turned into our driveway, glad to get home.
    The truck turned around and came back toward us.
    turn left/right: Follow this path; then turn right and walk uphill.
    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something change the direction in which it is moving
      turn something around/toward/into etc.: He turned the car in the direction of the city.
      They ordered the pilot to turn the plane around.
    2. b.
      [intransitive] if a road or river turns, it bends and goes in a different direction
      The road turns to follow the cliffs at the little village of Croton.
      Here the road turns sharply to the right.
  3. 3
    [intransitive] to make a circular movement
    I heard the key turn in the lock.
    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something move in a circle
      Turning this wheel will start the machine.
  4. 4
    [linking verb] to change and do or become something else
    turn ugly/nasty/violent: The game turned ugly in the final minutes, when two players were ejected for fighting.
    turn cold/chilly: The weather turned quite chilly in the afternoon.
    turn professional: Duval turned professional in 1993.
    turn informant/killer: She was betrayed by a childhood friend who turned government informant.
    1. a.
      to change and become another color
      The leaves turn bright red in autumn.
  5. 5
    [linking verb] to become a particular age or a particular time
    He turned 40 in March.
    It’s just turned midnight.
    Synonyms and related words
  6. 8
    [intransitive] if milk turns, it becomes sour


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

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