Turn v. t. [imp. & p. p. Turned p. pr. & vb. n. Turning.]
1. 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. --Milton.
The monarch turns him to his royal guest. --Pope.
2. 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.
3. 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. --Milton.
My thoughts are turned on peace. --Addison.
4. 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. --1 Chron. x. 14.
God will make these evils the occasion of a greater good, by turning them to advantage in this world. --Tillotson.
When the passage is open, land will be turned most to cattle; when shut, to sheep. --Sir W. Temple.
5. 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. --Deut. xxx. 3.
And David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. --2 Sam. xv. 31.
Impatience turns an ague into a fever. --Jer. Taylor.
6. 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. --Shak.
7. 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 ! --Pope.
He was perfectly well turned for trade. --Addison.
8. Specifically: -- (a) To translate; to construe; as, to turn the Iliad.
Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown. --Pope.
(b) To make acid or sour; to ferment; to curdle, etc.: as, to turn cider or wine; electricity turns milk quickly.
(c) To sicken; to nauseate; as, an emetic turns one's stomach.
9. 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. --James Bryce.
To be turned of, to be advanced beyond; as, to be turned of sixty-six.
To turn a cold shoulder to, to treat with neglect or indifference.
To turn a corner, (a) to go round a corner. (b) [Fig.] To advance beyond a difficult stage in a project, or in life.
To turn adrift, to cast off, to cease to care for.
To turn a flange Mech., to form a flange on, as around a metal sheet or boiler plate, by stretching, bending, and hammering, or rolling the metal.
To turn against. (a) To direct against; as, to turn one's arguments against himself. (b) To make unfavorable or hostile to; as, to turn one's friends against him.
To turn a hostile army, To turn the enemy's flank, or the like Mil., to pass round it, and take a position behind it or upon its side.
To turn a penny, or To turn an honest penny, to make a small profit by trade, or the like.
To turn around one's finger, to have complete control of the will and actions of; to be able to influence at pleasure.
To turn aside, to avert.
To turn away. (a) To dismiss from service; to discard; as, to turn away a servant. (b) To avert; as, to turn away wrath or evil.
To turn back. (a) To give back; to return.
We turn not back the silks upon the merchants,
When we have soiled them. --Shak.
(b) To cause to return or retrace one's steps; hence, to drive away; to repel. --Shak.
To turn down. (a) To fold or double down. (b) To turn over so as to conceal the face of; as, to turn down cards. (c) To lower, or reduce in size, by turning a valve, stopcock, or the like; as, turn down the lights.
To turn in. (a) To fold or double under; as, to turn in the edge of cloth. (b) To direct inwards; as, to turn the toes in when walking. (c) To contribute; to deliver up; as, he turned in a large amount. [Colloq.]
To turn in the mind, to revolve, ponder, or meditate upon; -- with about, over, etc. “ Turn these ideas about in your mind.” --I. Watts.
To turn off. (a) To dismiss contemptuously; as, to turn off a sycophant or a parasite. (b) To give over; to reduce. (c) To divert; to deflect; as, to turn off the thoughts from serious subjects; to turn off a joke. (d) To accomplish; to perform, as work. (e) Mech. To remove, as a surface, by the process of turning; to reduce in size by turning. (f) To shut off, as a fluid, by means of a valve, stopcock, or other device; to stop the passage of; as, to turn off the water or the gas.
To turn on, to cause to flow by turning a valve, stopcock, or the like; to give passage to; as, to turn on steam.
To turn one's coat, to change one's uniform or colors; to go over to the opposite party.
To turn one's goods or To turn one's money, and the like, to exchange in the course of trade; to keep in lively exchange or circulation; to gain or increase in trade.
To turn one's hand to, to adapt or apply one's self to; to engage in.
To turn out. (a) To drive out; to expel; as, to turn a family out of doors; to turn a man out of office.
I'll turn you out of my kingdom. -- Shak.
(b) to put to pasture, as cattle or horses. (c) To produce, as the result of labor, or any process of manufacture; to furnish in a completed state. (d) To reverse, as a pocket, bag, etc., so as to bring the inside to the outside; hence, to produce. (e) To cause to cease, or to put out, by turning a stopcock, valve, or the like; as, to turn out the lights.
To turn over. (a) To change or reverse the position of; to overset; to overturn; to cause to roll over. (b) To transfer; as, to turn over business to another hand. (c) To read or examine, as a book, while, turning the leaves. “We turned o'er many books together.” --Shak. (d) To handle in business; to do business to the amount of; as, he turns over millions a year. [Colloq.]
To turn over a new leaf. See under Leaf.
To turn tail, to run away; to retreat ignominiously.
To turn the back, to flee; to retreat.
To turn the back on or To turn the back upon, to treat with contempt; to reject or refuse unceremoniously.
To turn the corner, to pass the critical stage; to get by the worst point; hence, to begin to improve, or to succeed.
To turn the die or To turn the dice, to change fortune.
To turn the edge of or To turn the point of, to bend over the edge or point of so as to make dull; to blunt.
To turn the head of or To turn the brain of, to make giddy, wild, insane, or the like; to infatuate; to overthrow the reason or judgment of; as, a little success turned his head.
To turn the scale or To turn the balance, to change the preponderance; to decide or determine something doubtful; to tip the balance.
To turn the stomach of, to nauseate; to sicken.
To turn the tables, to reverse the chances or conditions of success or superiority; to give the advantage to the person or side previously at a disadvantage.
To turn tippet, to make a change. [Obs.] --B. Jonson.
To turn to profit, To turn to advantage, etc., to make profitable or advantageous.
To turn turtle, to capsize bottom upward; -- said of a vessel. [Naut. slang]
To turn under Agric., to put, as soil, manure, etc., underneath from the surface by plowing, digging, or the like.
To turn up. (a) To turn so as to bring the bottom side on top; as, to turn up the trump. (b) To bring from beneath to the surface, as in plowing, digging, etc. (c) To give an upward curve to; to tilt; as, to turn up the nose.
To turn upon, to retort; to throw back; as, to turn the arguments of an opponent upon himself.
To turn upside down, to confuse by putting things awry; to throw into disorder.
This house is turned upside down since Robin Ostler died. --Shak.
adj 1: moved around an axis or center [ant: unturned]
2: in an unpalatable state; "sour milk" [syn: off, sour]