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To produce something in large quantities, often quickly and/or carelessly. A noun or pronoun can be used between "churn" and "out." That novelist seems to churn out a new bestseller every few months. I want to open a fine dining restaurant, not just some place that churns out burgers and fries.
To cause the movement of something in a liquid (such as sediment of some kind) by stirring. A noun or pronoun can be used between "churn" and "up." I stirred the milk and churned up bits of chocolate powder that had settled to the bottom of the glass. Because we're so close to the shore, your oars will likely churn some pebbles up.
churn something out
to produce something in large numbers, perhaps carelessly. We churn toys out by the thousand. This factory can churn out these parts day and night.
churn something up
to stir up a liquid; to mix up material suspended in water. The oars of our boat churned the shallow water up, leaving little clouds of sediment in our wake. The oars churned up the mud.
Produce in an abundant and automatic manner, as in He churned out a novel every six months. This idiom transfers the turning of milk into butter to other kinds of production. [Early 1900s]
To produce something in an abundant and automatic manner: The author churns out four novels a year. Although the chairs look handmade, the company churns them out in a factory.
tv. [for a stockbroker] to cause a heavy turnover in the portfolio of an investor. (The broker collects commissions on each transaction.) I reported my broker for churning my account.