• "I shook hands with the three in turn."
    "I shook hands with the three in turn."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v turn twist suddenly so as to sprain "wrench one's ankle","The wrestler twisted his shoulder","the hikers sprained their ankles when they fell","I turned my ankle and couldn't walk for several days"
    • v turn pass into a condition gradually, take on a specific property or attribute; become "The weather turned nasty","She grew angry"
    • v turn change to the contrary "The trend was reversed","the tides turned against him","public opinion turned when it was revealed that the president had an affair with a White House intern"
    • v turn undergo a transformation or a change of position or action "We turned from Socialism to Capitalism","The people turned against the President when he stole the election"
    • v turn become officially one year older "She is turning 50 this year"
    • v turn change color "In Vermont, the leaves turn early"
    • v turn go sour or spoil "The milk has soured","The wine worked","The cream has turned--we have to throw it out"
    • v turn have recourse to or make an appeal or request for help or information to "She called on her Representative to help her","She turned to her relatives for help"
    • v turn direct at someone "She turned a smile on me","They turned their flashlights on the car"
    • v turn alter the functioning or setting of "turn the dial to 10","turn the heat down"
    • v turn cause (a plastic object) to assume a crooked or angular form "bend the rod","twist the dough into a braid","the strong man could turn an iron bar"
    • v turn let (something) fall or spill from a container "turn the flour onto a plate"
    • v turn shape by rotating on a lathe or cutting device or a wheel "turn the legs of the table","turn the clay on the wheel"
    • v turn to break and turn over earth especially with a plow "Farmer Jones plowed his east field last week","turn the earth in the Spring"
    • v turn change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense "Turn towards me","The mugger turned and fled before I could see his face","She turned from herself and learned to listen to others' needs"
    • v turn pass to the other side of "turn the corner","move around the obstacle"
    • v turn channel one's attention, interest, thought, or attention toward or away from something "The pedophile turned to boys for satisfaction","people turn to mysticism at the turn of a millennium"
    • v turn to send or let go "They turned away the crowd at the gate of the governor's mansion"
    • v turn cause to move around a center so as to show another side of "turn a page of a book"
    • v turn cause to move around or rotate "turn a key","turn your palm this way"
    • v turn cause to move along an axis or into a new direction "turn your face to the wall","turn the car around","turn your dance partner around"
    • v turn move around an axis or a center "The wheels are turning"
    • v turn get by buying and selling "the company turned a good profit after a year"
    • v turn accomplish by rotating "turn a somersault","turn cartwheels"
    • v turn undergo a change or development "The water turned into ice","Her former friend became her worst enemy","He turned traitor"
    • v turn cause to change or turn into something different; assume new characteristics "The princess turned the frog into a prince by kissing him","The alchemists tried to turn lead into gold"
    • n turn taking a short walk out and back "we took a turn in the park"
    • n turn turning or twisting around (in place) "with a quick twist of his head he surveyed the room"
    • n turn the act of turning away or in the opposite direction "he made an abrupt turn away from her"
    • n turn the act of changing or reversing the direction of the course "he took a turn to the right"
    • n turn (game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession "it is my turn","it is still my play"
    • n turn a favor for someone "he did me a good turn"
    • n turn a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program "he did his act three times every evening","she had a catchy little routine","it was one of the best numbers he ever did"
    • n turn a movement in a new direction "the turning of the wind"
    • n turn an unforeseen development "events suddenly took an awkward turn"
    • n turn a circular segment of a curve "a bend in the road","a crook in the path"
    • n turn (sports) a division during which one team is on the offensive
    • n turn a time for working (after which you will be relieved by someone else) "it's my go","a spell of work"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"The cat washed the jackdaw in its turn." "The cat washed the jackdaw in its turn."
"May turned away, feeling ashamed and miserable." "May turned away, feeling ashamed and miserable."
Using a Turning Saw Using a Turning Saw
Wanted to Turn in a Fire Alarm 201 Wanted to Turn in a Fire Alarm 201
And so the teacher turned him out And so the teacher turned him out
Josiah turned his back on me Josiah turned his back on me
The Prince is turned into a deer The Prince is turned into a deer
The sleigh turned upside down The sleigh turned upside down

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Bats always turn left when exiting a cave
    • Turn A change of condition; especially, a sudden or recurring symptom of illness, as a nervous shock, or fainting spell; as, a bad turn .
    • Turn A circuitous walk, or a walk to and fro, ending where it began; a short walk; a stroll. "Come, you and I must walk a turn together.""I will take a turn in your garden."
    • Turn (Eng. Law) A court of record, held by the sheriff twice a year in every hundred within his county.
    • Turn A fall off the ladder at the gallows; a hanging; -- so called from the practice of causing the criminal to stand on a ladder which was turned over, so throwing him off, when the signal was given.
    • Turn (Mining) A pit sunk in some part of a drift.
    • Turn A round of a rope or cord in order to secure it, as about a pin or a cleat.
    • Turn (Mus) An embellishment or grace, commonly consisting of the principal note, or that on which the turn is made, with the note above, and the semitone below, the note above being sounded first, the principal note next, and the semitone below last, the three being performed quickly, as a triplet preceding the marked note. The turn may be inverted so as to begin with the lower note, in which case the sign is either placed on end.
    • Turn Change of direction, course, or tendency; different order, position, or aspect of affairs; alteration; vicissitude; as, the turn of the tide. "At length his complaint took a favorable turn .""The turns and varieties of all passions.""Too well the turns of mortal chance I know."
    • Turn Convenience; occasion; purpose; exigence; as, this will not serve his turn . "I have enough to serve mine own turn ."
    • Turn Form; cast; shape; manner; fashion; -- used in a literal or figurative sense; hence, form of expression; mode of signifying; as, the turn of thought; a man of a sprightly turn in conversation. "The turn of both his expressions and thoughts is unharmonious.""The Roman poets, in their description of a beautiful man, often mention the turn of his neck and arms."
    • Turn Hence, to give form to; to shape; to mold; to put in proper condition; to adapt. "The poet's pen turns them to shapes.""His limbs how turned , how broad his shoulders spread !""He was perfectly well turned for trade."
    • Turn Hence, to revolve as if upon a point of support; to hinge; to depend; as, the decision turns on a single fact. "Conditions of peace certainly turn upon events of war."
    • Turn Incidental or opportune deed or office; occasional act of kindness or malice; as, to do one an ill turn . "Had I not done a friendes turn to thee?""thanks are half lost when good turns are delayed."
    • Turn (Med) Monthly courses; menses.
    • Turn One of the successive portions of a course, or of a series of occurrences, reckoning from change to change; hence, a winding; a bend; a meander. "And all its [the river's] thousand turns disclose.
      Some fresher beauty varying round."
    • Turn Successive course; opportunity enjoyed by alternation with another or with others, or in due order; due chance; alternate or incidental occasion; appropriate time. "Nobleness and bounty . . . had their turns in his [the king's] nature.""His turn will come to laugh at you again.""Every one has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases."
    • Turn The act of turning; movement or motion about, or as if about, a center or axis; revolution; as, the turn of a wheel.
    • Turn To be changed, altered, or transformed; to become transmuted; also, to become by a change or changes; to grow; as, wood turns to stone; water turns to ice; one color turns to another; to turn Muslim. "I hope you have no intent to turn husband.""Cygnets from gray turn white."
    • Turn To be deflected; to take a different direction or tendency; to be directed otherwise; to be differently applied; to be transferred; as, to turn from the road. "Turn from thy fierce wrath.""Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways.""The understanding turns inward on itself, and reflects on its own operations."
    • Turn To be nauseated; -- said of the stomach.
    • Turn To become acid; to sour; -- said of milk, ale, etc.
    • Turn To become giddy; -- said of the head or brain.
    • Turn To become inclined in the other direction; -- said of scales.
    • Turn To bring down the feet of a child in the womb, in order to facilitate delivery.
    • Turn To cause to move upon a center, or as if upon a center; to give circular motion to; to cause to revolve; to cause to move round, either partially, wholly, or repeatedly; to make to change position so as to present other sides in given directions; to make to face otherwise; as, to turn a wheel or a spindle; to turn the body or the head. "Turn the adamantine spindle round.""The monarch turns him to his royal guest."
    • Turn To cause to present a different side uppermost or outmost; to make the upper side the lower, or the inside to be the outside of; to reverse the position of; as, to turn a box or a board; to turn a coat.
    • Turn To change from a given use or office; to divert, as to another purpose or end; to transfer; to use or employ; to apply; to devote. "Therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David.""God will make these evils the occasion of a greater good, by turning them to advantage in this world.""When the passage is open, land will be turned most to cattle; when shut, to sheep."
    • Turn To change from ebb to flow, or from flow to ebb; -- said of the tide.
    • Turn To change the form, quality, aspect, or effect of; to alter; to metamorphose; to convert; to transform; -- often with to or into before the word denoting the effect or product of the change; as, to turn a worm into a winged insect; to turn green to blue; to turn prose into verse; to turn a Whig to a Tory, or a Hindu to a Christian; to turn good to evil, and the like. "The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee.""And David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.""Impatience turns an ague into a fever."
    • Turn To form in a lathe; to shape or fashion (anything) by applying a cutting tool to it while revolving; as, to turn the legs of stools or tables; to turn ivory or metal. "I had rather hear a brazen canstick turned ."
    • Turn To give another direction, tendency, or inclination to; to direct otherwise; to deflect; to incline differently; -- used both literally and figuratively; as, to turn the eyes to the heavens; to turn a horse from the road, or a ship from her course; to turn the attention to or from something. "Expert when to advance, or stand, or, turn the sway of battle.""Thrice I deluded her, and turned to sport
      Her importunity."
      "My thoughts are turned on peace."
    • Turn (Print) To invert a type of the same thickness, as temporary substitute for any sort which is exhausted.
    • Turn To make a turn about or around (something); to go or pass around by turning; as, to turn a corner. "The ranges are not high or steep, and one can turn a kopje instead of cutting or tunneling through it."
    • Turn To make acid or sour; to ferment; to curdle, etc.: as, to turn cider or wine; electricity turns milk quickly.
    • Turn To move round; to have a circular motion; to revolve entirely, repeatedly, or partially; to change position, so as to face differently; to whirl or wheel round; as, a wheel turns on its axis; a spindle turns on a pivot; a man turns on his heel. "The gate . . . on golden hinges turning ."
    • Turn To result or terminate; to come about; to eventuate; to issue. "If we repent seriously, submit contentedly, and serve him faithfully, afflictions shall turn to our advantage."
    • Turn To sicken; to nauseate; as, an emetic turns one's stomach.
    • Turn To translate; to construe; as, to turn the Iliad.
    • Turn To undergo the process of turning on a lathe; as, ivory turns well.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: For two years, during the 1970s, Mattel marketed a doll called "Growing Up Skipper." Her breasts grew when her arm was turned.
    • v.i Turn turn to whirl round: to hinge: to depend: to issue: to take a different direction or tendency: to become by a change, hence to rebel: to return: to be fickle: to result: to be shaped on the lathe: to sour: to become giddy: to be nauseated: to change from ebb to flow or from flow to ebb: to become inclined in the other direction
    • v.t Turn to cause to revolve: to reverse: to pass round: to direct, apply: to send, drive: to fold, remake: to translate: to make sour: to change the position or the direction of: to nauseate, to make giddy: to direct the mind to: to infatuate or make mad: to cause to return with profit: to transfer: to convert: to form in a lathe: to shape: to round: to adapt: to blunt
    • n Turn act of turning: new direction or tendency, disposition: a walk to and fro: chance: a turning-point, crisis: :
    • n Turn act of turning over, upset, overthrow: a small pie made by turning half of the circular crust over the other which has been covered with fruit, &c.: an apprentice turned over to a new master to complete his apprenticeship: the total amount of the sales in a business for a specified time
    • n Turn (mus.) a melodic embellishment, consisting of a principal tone with two auxiliary tones lying respectively next above and below it: a spell of work, a job
    • n Turn (coll.) a nervous shock: change: a winding: a bend: form: manner: opportunity, convenience: act of kindness or malice: a type turned upside down, owing to a temporary want of the proper letter
    • ***


  • Vespasian
    “Dear me! I must be turning into a god.”
  • James A. Garfield
    James A. Garfield
    “Things don't turn up in this world until somebody turns them up.”
  • Enid Bagnold
    “A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again.”
  • Napoleon Hill
    “All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination, Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.”
  • Paul Santaguida
    Paul Santaguida
    “Life is a wilderness of twists and turns, where faith is your only compass.”
  • Eric Hoffer
    “It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.”


Buggles' turn - (UK) If it Buggles' turn, someone gets promotion through length of service rather than ability, especially in the British civil service.
In turn - This means one after the other. Example: She spoke to each of the guests in turn.
One good turn deserves another - This means that when people do something good, something good will happen to them.
Poacher turned gamekeeper - Someone who gets a legitimate job which is the opposite of their previous one. E.G a computer hacker who then helps to catch other hackers or an ex-bank robber who then advises banks on security.
Tables are turned - When the tables are turned, the situation has changed giving the advantage to the party who had previously been at a disadvantage.
Turn a blind eye - When people turn a blind eye, they deliberately ignore something, especially if people are doing something wrong.
Turn a deaf ear - If someone turns a deaf ear to you, they don't listen to you.
Turn a new leaf - If someone turns a new leaf, they change their behaviour and stop doing wrong or bad things.
Turn something on its head - If you turn something on its head, you turn it upside down or reverse it.
Turn the corner - To get over a bad run. When a loss making venture ceases to make losses, it has "turned the corner".
Turn the crack - (Scot) If you turn the crack, you change the subject of a conversation.
Turn the other cheek - If you turn the other cheek, you are humble and do not retaliate or get outwardly angry when someone offends or hurts you, in fact, you give them the opportunity to re-offend instead and compound their unpleasantness.
Turn the tables - If circumstances change completely, giving an advantage to those who seemed to be losing, the tables are turned.
Turn turtle - If something turns turtle, it turns upside down.
Turn up like a bad penny - If someone turns up like a bad penny, they go somewhere where they are not wanted.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. turnen, tournen, OF. tourner, torner, turner, F. tourner, LL. tornare, fr. L. tornare, to turn in a lathe, to round off, fr. tornus, a lathe, Gr. to`rnos a turner's chisel, a carpenter's tool for drawing circles; probably akin to E. throw,. See Throw, and cf. Attorney Return Tornado Tour Tournament


In literature:

He turned the bill over.
"The Girl and The Bill" by Bannister Merwin
Then suddenly the man moved, and made as though to turn.
"The Young Railroaders" by Francis Lovell Coombs
The man-child shrieked, turned, and ran, his terrified red face turned over his shoulder.
"Frank of Freedom Hill" by Samuel A. Derieux
Suddenly he turned on them shrilly.
"The Huntress" by Hulbert Footner
Suddenly, at the last turning she stopped and turned very pale, clasping both hands upon her bodice.
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford
Little Pye turned his pince-nez on me as the attendant advanced.
"Hurricane Island" by H. B. Marriott Watson
Suddenly, as they walked, she turned to him and held him fast, as if she were turned to steel.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
Turn out the crumbs and save them.
"The Lady's Own Cookery Book, and New Dinner-Table Directory;" by Charlotte Campbell Bury
The girl suddenly turned her despairing eyes to the white heavens, their deep blue depths turned to a wonderful violet of emotion.
"The Golden Woman" by Ridgwell Cullum
Again and again her eyes turned upon the window surveying the bright sunlight outside.
"The Twins of Suffering Creek" by Ridgwell Cullum

In poetry:

Love in the yellowing,
Love at the turn,
Love o' the cooing lip—
how should he burn?
"In the Dim Counties" by John Shaw Neilson
The sun's gone dim, and
The moon's turned black;
For I loved him, and
He didn't love back.
"Two-Volume Novel" by Dorothy Parker
Something that burned it,
Something that shone
In the moon as I turned it,
And then it was gone.
"One Tear" by Robert Fuller Murray
You smile. The twenty loves before
Were each in turn,
You say, the final flame that o'er
My soul should burn.
"A Lover's Confession" by Robert Fuller Murray
Mary had a little lamb,
The lamb was always buttin'
So Mary killed the little lamb
And turned him into mutton.
"Brutal Mary" by Edwin Carty Ranck
"Turn ye, John Gordon—the twasum we s' twin!
Turn ye, an' haud yer ain;
For ane sall lie on a cauld weet bed—
An' I downa curse again!"
"The Twa Gordons" by George MacDonald

In news:

Terry begins the article with a story: He attended an academic conference in 2008, and when the lunch conversation turned to the election, and Mitt Romney, it took a sadly predictable turn.
On Monday, one MLB veteran saw his career take a turn for the better, while a fellow veteran saw his career take a turn for the worse.
Though the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is largely unknown, the focus has turned to making sure that Americans affected get their power turned back on and get the help they need.
Windermere teen turned a good catch and good fortune into a good turn for a good cause.
For those of you who read the last blog and want to know how the cupcakes turned out well, they turned out excellent because I didn't make them.
Deception bites Bears as Packers' fake field goal turns into touchdown and turns momentum.
Packers' fake field goal turns into touchdown and turns momentum.
Turns out, Brazil turns out some super hot bikinis.
Gravely has expanded its Pro-Turn 400 series commercial lineup with the introduction of a new diesel zero-turn mower.
Many turn to crime, but one local woman has made it her mission to help them turn their lives around.
Before turning to Washington, Ford turned to India for help.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg isn't turning the other cheek over a former teacher who turned tricks.
Among the new features on the iPhone version is turn-by-turn voice navigation, and it works exceptionally well.
Marc Lecureuil/Getty ImagesCan Josh Koscheck turn back time -- and turn back the next wave of welterweights.
They, in turn, introduced me to local distributors, who in turn introduced me to other manufacturers .

In science:

E[# turns] ≥ "Xi We shall shortly apply this bound to the game of Random-Turn Hex.
Random-Turn Hex and other selection games
Turn right at a black vertex, and turn left at a white vertex.
$\LE$-diagrams and totally positive bases inside the nonnegative Grassmannian
When cell x is turning clockwise in the example, the cell to its North is turning anticlockwise.
Intrinsically universal n-dimensional quantum cellular automata
The turning kernel or turn angle distribution T (v , v ′ ) gives the probability of a velocity jump from v ′ to v if a jump occurs.
Asymptotic expansion of semi-Markov random evolutions
For the next t2 ≤ n turns Maker will select edges from G2 which are boosters with respect to the graph he possesses at each turn.
Local resilience and Hamiltonicity Maker-Breaker games in random-regular graphs