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turn the/(one's) clock(s) back

To adjust the time on one's clock(s) back by one hour to account for the end of daylight saving time. Don't forget to turn your clock back tonight. I hate having to turn the clocks back every autumn, it's such an antiquated custom.
See also: back, turn

turn the/(one's) clock(s) forward

To advance the time on one's clock(s) ahead by one hour to account for the beginning of daylight saving time. Don't forget to turn your clock forward tonight or you'll end up oversleeping tomorrow! I hate having to turn the clocks forward every spring, it's such an antiquated custom.
See also: forward, turn

turn the scale(s)

To change the balance of a situation, such that one side or element is favored or gains advantage. The two candidates are so close in the polls that both are vying for something that will turn the scale in their favor. The immense interconnectivity of social media has turned the scales of power somewhat back into the hands of the ordinary population.
See also: turn

turn tits up

1. mildly vulgar To break or malfunction; to die, fall apart, or cease to work. (A variant of the more common "go tits up," itself a play on the phrase "go belly up." "Tits up" is sometimes hyphenated.) Sorry Mark, I'd love to give you a lift to the airport, but my car's turned tits up on me again. It looks like our co-op might be turning tits-up if we aren't granted a licence for our communal work premises.
2. mildly vulgar By extension, to have a poor, undesired, or ruinous outcome; to fail completely or not come together at all. We were all set to have our picnic on Saturday, but the weather turned tits up, and we had to cancel at the last minute. The merger deal between the two companies turned tits-up when it came to light that one of the CEOs had been dodging tax obligations for several years.
See also: tit, turn, up

turn a corner

To begin to find success or improvement after a particularly difficult or troubling period. I know that rehab has been hard on you, but I feel like you've been really turning a corner lately. Their new start-up took a couple of years to get going, but they finally turned a corner when their product was featured in a high-profile tech magazine.
See also: corner, turn

without turning a hair

Without becoming upset, afraid, or emotional; with a perfectly calm demeanor. My father was a tough man. When our family dog came down with rabies, he took him out back and shot him without turning a hair. Claire, without turning a hair, knocked out the two assailants with her bare hands!
See also: hair, turning, without

turn a phrase

To express something in very adept, elegant, and clever terms. Mr. Broadmoor is so cultivated and witty. Not only is he remarkably intelligent, but he is always able to turn a phrase most poignantly.
See also: phrase, turn

turn around (something)

To reverse the direction or course of something; to reverse the way something is facing or oriented. I swear, if you kids don't stop fighting back there, I am going to turn around this car and take us straight back home! The company is hiring a new financial consultant to turn around the sales trends of the last two years.
See also: around, turn

turn into a pumpkin

To have to return home or go to bed due to the late hour of the night. (Usually used as a present participle, the phrase is a reference to the story of Cinderella, whose magic carriage turned into a pumpkin at midnight.) I've had a wonderful time, but I'm turning into a pumpkin. I think I'll call a cab and head home.
See also: pumpkin, turn

turn (one's) coat

dated To change one's allegiance or affiliation (especially in politics) for personal gain or advantage. A good politician will espouse the most hard-line stance of his party's political ideologies, but a successful politician knows when to turn his coat.
See also: coat, turn

turn (someone's) crank

To excite or arouse the interest of someone. To be honest, science never turned my crank in school. I was always more interested in literature.
See also: crank, turn

turn the air blue

To use profane language, especially with great rapidity and intensity. My dad turned the air blue after he found out I'd put a dent in his car.
See also: air, blue, turn

turn the screw(s) (on someone)

To exert excessive and coercive pressure, force, or threats of violence on someone. The bank has really started turning the screws on me ever since I began missing my mortgage payments. I'll send one of my men around to him tomorrow to start turning the screw. Then we'll see if Johnny's still so sure he won't sign the contract.
See also: turn

turn the trick

To do, accomplish, or fulfill exactly what is needed or sought after. The recipe calls for pancetta ham, but I think this regular bacon should turn the trick. The movie's plot, such as it is, won't go on to win any awards, but the gory special effects will turn the trick for any fans of the horror genre.
See also: trick, turn

turn full circle

To return to the original or a similar position, situation, or circumstance where one or something started. After the banking sector brought on the economic collapse through lack of federal oversight, things seem to be turning full circle as politicians are beginning to call for deregulation of the industry once again. I used to work in in various kitchens during college to support myself, but now I've turned full circle and am the head chef of my own restaurant.
See also: circle, full, turn

turn an honest penny

To earn money in an honorable and legitimate way, typically through one's hard work. I used to swindle people, but I turn an honest penny these days, I swear! You're 40 years old—you need to get a job and start turning an honest penny.
See also: honest, penny, turn

turn (something) to account

To gain or profit from something. I'm confident that I can turn this new invention of mine to account.
See also: account, turn

turn tricks

slang To perform sexual acts for money. Typically said of a prostitute. A lot of these girls are addicts who started turning tricks to get drug money.
See also: trick, turn

turn two

slang In baseball, to make two outs on the same play. Another way of referring to a "double play." Did you see them turn two? What a play!
See also: turn, two

It is a long lane that has no turning.

Prov. Bad times cannot continue forever.; Things will soon improve. Nancy: It's been six months, and neither one of us can find work. I'm afraid we're going to lose everything. Bill: Don't despair, honey. It is a long lane that has no turning. Your luck has been bad for a long time, but it is a long lane that has no turning. I'm sure things will change soon.
See also: lane, long, turning

*turning point

Fig. a time when things may change; a point at which a change of course is possible or desirable. (Originally nautical. Fig. on the image of a ship approaching a point where a change of course has been planned. (*Typically: be at ~; come to ~; reach ~.) Things are at to a turning point. Bob can no longer afford the payments on his car. I think we have come to a turning point and there ought to be some improvement henceforth.
See also: point, turning

the wheels are turning

something is happening By the late 1940s the wheels were turning that would make space flight possible by the end of the 1950s.
See also: turning, wheel

the wheels are turning

something that you say which means a process is starting to happen By the late 1940s the wheels were turning that would make a manned space flight possible by the end of the next decade.
See oil the wheels, set the wheels in motion, spin wheels
See also: turning, wheel

turn a hair, not

Not become afraid or upset, remain calm, as in She didn't turn a hair during the bank robbery. This term, also put as without turning a hair, comes from horse racing. After a race, a horse often has roughened, outward-turned hair. Its figurative use, nearly always in the negative, dates from the late 1800s.
See also: not, turn
References in periodicals archive ?
Chapter Four 2009-2014 Global and China Market of Turning insert 4.
Of course, it is not enough for preaching to do what God is doing, in this case turning everything upside down.
Head into the middle of Tanworth-in-Arden and continue along the main road before turning left down Bates Lane.
dial-up) to the proper slot, and turning on the base station.
When units order LRUs or SRUs without turning in their unserviceable ones, it puts a strain on the system.
These efforts, perhaps best demonstrated in the work of Raphael, reach beyond the simple inclusion or philological citation of visual analogues of rhetorical figures--such as the embodiment of antithesis in the contrapposto, for example--to a more complex and genuinely creative pictorial intelligence in which artists develop the affective potential of the visual trope, or, in this case, the emotional, ontological, and temporal dimensions of the turning pose.
The amount of things that you can do with turning may be surprising.
The throw is initiated by the turning of the support leg, knee, and hips toward the front of the ring.
When allowed to shift their gaze by turning their heads to track a target shown in the display, observers accurately estimated the direction in which this simulated motion would take them.
Warm April rains had brought down the mountain snowpack with such fury the river turned on itself, gouging saplings and century-old trees from it banks, turning its waters to mud brown The sapling, half of its roots swept away in the river's fury, hung from the bank's edge.
Over the past decade, manufacturers have been developing and perfecting an automatically turning bed that is portable, easily used on standard bed frames, and far less costly than units requiring a specialized frame as well as sleep surface.
At the Indy, "you spend 60 percent of your time turning," says driver Lyn St.
Windmoeller & Hoelscher, the first blown-film equipment supplier to offer an oscillating hauloff back in 1973, sells a unit that feeds the film through a series of two horizontally arranged turning bars and two idler rolls after the primary nip and collapsing frame.
The new Watt Stopper sensors give homeowners a simple way to save energy by automatically turning lights off in empty rooms, thus making ordinary home lighting more green and eco-friendly.
If Smith chooses Wal-Mart over his constituents, his legacy will be the turning of Nordhoff into the equivalent of the ``405 Freeway of Valley streets.