Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

turn

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb British English pronunciation: turn /tɜː(r)n/ 
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyturn
he/she/itturns
present participleturning
past tenseturned
past participleturned
  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 to:

    Maria turned to the reporters and said: 'I'm innocent.'

    turn away:

    Lopez just glared at the other man and then turned away.

    turn around/round:

    The girls in front turned round and grinned.

    turn to do something:

    The whole audience turned to stare at the latecomers.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to change the position of something so that it is pointing in a different direction
      turn something around/round:

      Turn your chairs round 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 travelling
    turn around/towards/into etc:

    We turned into our drive, glad to get home.

    The truck turned around and came back towards 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/towards/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

      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. 5
    [linking verb] to change and do or become something else
    turn professional:

    Duval turned professional in 1993.

    turn cold/chilly:

    The weather turned quite chilly in the afternoon.

  5. 6
    [linking verb] to become a particular age or a particular time

    He turned 40 in March.

    It's just turned midnight.

phrases

mom jeans

a style of loose-fitting jeans with a high waist, often considered unfashionable

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

endies

Employed but with No Disposable Income or Savings: people who are in work but only earn just enough to live on

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog