by turns


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by turns

In an alternating cycle; in successive or rotating turns. I think something was wrong, for her manner was by turns welcoming and cold, which made for a disconcerting evening. My wife and I divide household tasks by turns.
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

by turns

Alternately, one after another, as in She is by turns cheerful, serious, and sad. [First half of 1500s]
See also: by, turn
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

by ˈturn(s)

used when talking of contrasting feelings or actions which follow each other: He looked surprised, worried and angry by turn.When they told me I had got the job in New York, I felt by turns excited and anxious.
See also: by, turn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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