turn on

(redirected from turn upon)

turn (up)on someone or something

to attack or oppose someone or something, especially the person or group in charge. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) I never thought that my own dog would turn on me! The treasurer turned on the entire board of directors.
See also: on, turn

turn someone on

to excite or interest someone. Fast music with a good beat turns me on. That stuff doesn't turn on anyone.
See also: on, turn

turn something on

to switch on something to make it run. I turned the microwave oven on and cooked dinner. I turned on the lights when the sun went down.
See also: on, turn

turn on someone

to attack someone. I thought the strange dog was friendly, but suddenly it turned on me and bit me. Bob knows a lot about lions, and he says that no matter how well they are trained, there is always the danger that they'll turn on you.
See also: on, turn

turn on

1. Lit.[for something] to switch on and start running. The lights turned on right at dusk. At what time do the street lights turn on?
2. Fig. to become interested or excited. He turns on when he sees the mountains. Ann will turn on if she hears this song.
See also: on, turn

turn on

1. Cause to begin the operation, flow, or activity of, as in Turn on the lights, please, or Don't turn on the sprinkler yet. [First half of 1800s]
2. Begin to display, employ, or exude, as in He turned on the charm. [Late 1800s]
3. Also, get high or on . Take or cause to take a mind-altering drug, as in The boys were excited about turning on, or They tried to get her high, or I told them I wouldn't get on tonight. [Slang; mid-1900s]
4. Be or cause to become excited or interested, as in His mother was the first to turn him on to classical music. [c. 1900]
5. Be or become sexually aroused, as in He blushed when she asked him what turned him on. [Second half of 1900s]
6. Also, turn upon. Depend on, relate to, as in The entire plot turns on mistaken identity. This usage, first recorded in 1661, uses turn in the sense of "revolve on an axis or hinge."
7. Also, turn upon. Attack, become hostile toward, as in Although normally friendly, the dog suddenly turned on everyone who came to the door. Also see turn against.
See also: on, turn

turn on

1. To suddenly aim or focus something on someone or something: She turned the camera on the speaker. He turned the gun on himself.
2. To attack someone or something suddenly and violently with no apparent motive: The lion turned on the animal trainer.
3. To become disloyal toward someone that one was once loyal to: After years as an assistant, I turned on my boss and told the authorities about his tax evasion.
4. To depend on someone or something for success or failure: The campaign turns on attracting swing voters.
5. To start the operation, activity, or flow of something by or as if by turning a switch: Turn on the light bulb. Turn the generator on.
6. To begin instantly to display, employ, or exude some affectation: She turned on the charm. He turns a fake accent on when he doesn't want to be recognized.
7. Slang To take a mind-altering drug, especially for the first time: They turned on and passed out at the party.
8. Slang turn on to To cause to become interested, pleasurably excited, or stimulated by something: My aunt turned me on to jazz.
9. Slang turn on to To be interested, pleasurably excited, or stimulated by something: She turned on to surfing this summer.
10. Vulgar Slang To excite someone sexually.
See also: on, turn

turn on

1. in. to become interested or excited. She turned on when she heard her name called.
2. in. to take a drug. (Drugs.) He will turn on with anybody at the drop of a hat.
3. n. someone or something that excites someone. (Usually turn-on.) David can be a real turn-on when he’s in a good mood.
See also: on, turn
References in classic literature ?
At the same time, the schooner began to turn upon her heel, spinning slowly, end for end, across the current.
When he is well, I thought, he probably will turn upon me and attempt to devour me, and against that even-tuality I gathered together a pile of rocks and set to work to fashion a stone-knife.
Were you an ape, you would know that only a bull in the throes of madness will turn upon a female other than to gently chastise her, with the occasional exception of the individual whom we find exemplified among our own kind, and who delights in beating up his better half because she happens to be smaller and weaker than he.
But the fight had taken a new and a strange turn upon the other side.
With a loud hiss the creature abandoned its prey to turn upon me, but the spear, imbedded in its throat, prevented it from seizing me though it came near to overturning the skiff in its mad efforts to reach me.
The black struggled to arise--to turn upon the creature that had seized him--to wriggle from its hold; but all to no purpose.
But just as he had tried opium, so his thought now began to turn upon gambling--not with appetite for its excitement, but with a sort of wistful inward gaze after that easy way of getting money, which implied no asking and brought no responsibility.
Instantly to turn upon me, charging that I have no sense of the enormity of the crime itself, but am its aider and abettor
Terrified that Ball would turn upon him, Elltoft was forced to help the killer dispose of the body.
Turn upon the day or ring Dave on (0191) 268 2028 or 07793 420 547.
But the prestige accorded them by their job descriptions is radically undercut as later, less fulsomely labeled writers turn upon the conceits invented and elaborated by the first ten poets.
And their curse is that the scapegoat whom fans usually turn upon, the manager, is the best thing that ever happened to this club.
Sadly the working classes do not ght the government cuts at the ballot box but turn upon each other.
It is better for capitalism if we are all fighting among ourselves, blaming each other for the world's problems, because otherwise we would turn upon the real culprits.
We are screwed with Pardew at the helm as his total self-belief has clearly rubbed off on the squad who no doubt will think all they need to do is turn upon Saturday and they will spank Leicester.