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1. verb In a military formation, to turn and face the opposite direction. The soldiers about-turned and started marching in the direction of the barracks. I watched the troops march past, then they did an about-turn towards the empty field. A: "Which way am I supposed to be facing?" B: "This is when you about-turn, so, turn and face the other way.
2. interjection A military command to execute such a turn. About-turn! Forward march! Following the shout of "About-turn!," the soldiers started marching in the direction of the barracks.
3. noun An abrupt reversal in the opposite direction. We were just about to return home last night when we made an about-turn and headed straight into another bar instead. Young man, do an about-turn and go clean your room this instant! She did an about-turn and walked back up the steps once she saw that the subway wasn't running.
4. noun A complete change or reversal of opinion or belief. A: "I never expected Michael to side with us on this issue." B: "I know. I'm not sure what caused his about-turn, but I'm not complaining." Do you really think these vicious ads will make anyone do an about-turn on their candidate of choice? His about-turn on the topic of tax reform surprised many of his opponents and frustrated many of his constituents.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.