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1. To lower or diminish the intensity of something, such as volume, pressure, brightness, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "down." Would you mind turning down your radio? It's very distracting. They turned the lights down before the movie started.
2. To dismiss, reject, spurn, or refuse someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "down." It broke my heart, but I had to turn down the couple's application down because they didn't meet our lending criteria. I asked her out on a date, but she turned me down. The bosses turned me down for a promotion.
3. To fold something over itself. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "down." Make sure you turn down your collar after you tie your necktie. I think beds look nicer when you turn the sheets down at the pillow.
4. To tidy and arrange a bed. In this usage, "bed" or "beds" can be used between "turn" and "down." You'll need to replace customers' towels, empty their waste bins, and turn down their beds. Please turn your bed down after you wake up in the morning.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
turn someone down
to issue a refusal to someone. We had to turn Joan down, even though her proposal was okay. We turned down Joan, even though her credentials were good.
turn something down
1. to bend or fold something down. He turned his coat collar down when he got inside the house. Timmy had turned down his cuffs and caught one of them in his bicycle chain.
2. to decrease the volume of something. Please turn the radio down. Can't you turn down that stereo?
3. to reject something; to deny someone's request. The board turned our request down. She had turned down John's offer of help, too.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Fold or double down, as in They always turn down your bed here, or Turn down your collar. [c. 1600]
2. Invert, as in She turned down her cards, or They turn down the glasses in the cupboard. [Mid-1700s]
3. Reject, fail to accept, as in They turned down his proposal, or Joe was turned down at four schools before he was finally accepted. [Late 1800s]
4. Diminish in volume, brightness, or speed. For example, Please turn down the radio; it's too loud, or They turned down the lights and began to dance. [Second half of 1800s]
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.
1. To diminish the speed, volume, intensity, or flow of something by or as if by turning a dial: Turn down the radio, please. He turned down the TV so his roommate could study.
2. To reject or refuse someone or something: I turned down the invitation. We turned them down because their offer was too low.
3. To fold something downward: I turned my collar down. She turned down the flaps on her hat to protect her ears from the cold.
4. To prepare some bed by folding the outer covering down: The hotel maid came in and turned down the bed.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.