turn on, tune in, drop out


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drop out

1. verb To fall or spill out of something. I didn't realize that I hadn't fully zipped my backpack until my books started dropping out of it.
2. verb To break and/or plunge suddenly. This usage typically refers to the bottom of something. The bottom dropped out of the paper bag once it got wet. If the bottom drops out of the stock market, we could have another Great Depression ahead of us.
3. verb To let someone or something fall or proceed out of something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "drop" and "out." Drop the troops out of the plane once you're safely over the compound. Of course the boys got into mischief and started dropping each other's things out the window.
4. verb To eliminate or exclude something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "drop" and "out." Something is wrong with the sound system because it's dropping out every third word.
5. verb To not be amplified, broadcast, or delivered to a receiver, typically due to some kind of connection problem. Something is wrong with the sound system because every third word is dropping out. I have to call my phone company because my calls keep dropping out. Back when we had dial-up, the connection would drop out when we got an incoming call.
6. verb To abandon society and conventional values, as due to disillusionment with them. After surviving a serious illness, my sister dropped out and bought a house in the country instead of going back to her corporate job.
7. verb To leave an activity or program without finishing it. I'm going back to school because I always regretted dropping out of college.
8. noun One who has left school before graduation. In this usage, the phrase is often written as one word or hyphenated. I'm going back to school because I always regretted being a college dropout.
See also: drop, out

tune in

1. To watch or listen to a particular broadcast. The term originates from the need to "tune" a radio or television to a specific station or channel for a particular program. Be sure to tune in tomorrow, when we'll have the results of the big contest! We have over 2 million viewers tuning in to our show every week.
2. To pay attention to, become aware of, or be responsive (to someone or something). My father never tuned in when we were growing up. Our mother essentially raised us on her own. Would you mind tuning in to your brother for a little while? I need to go get dinner ready.
See also: tune

turn on

1. verb To enable, connect, or start the function of something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "on." Would you turn on the water heater for me, please? I need to turn on the lights to see properly.
2. verb To start, become active, or begin functioning, as of a machine or device. A: "My computer isn't turning on for some reason." B: "Are you sure it's plugged in?" The lights in the house are scheduled to turn on at dusk while we're away.
3. verb To suddenly attack, berate, or show hostility toward someone, especially after previously having been loyal or amiable. I know he seems friendly, but he'll turn on you in an instant if you disagree with him. The dog turned on its owner, biting him in the leg.
4. verb To shift or direct the focus of something onto someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "on." Then the reporter turned the camera on me and started asking me about my involvement. Can you turn the lights on lead actor, please?
5. verb To depend on or center around someone or something. Our entire plan turns on them accepting this offer. The plot of the books turns on two brothers during the civil war.
6. verb, slang To increase someone's sexual interest or excitement. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "on." I know it's clichéd, but expensive cars and nice suits really turn me on. A: "All I need to do to turn on the ladies is just flex my guns." B: "I think I just threw up a little."
7. noun, slang Something that increases someone's sexual interest or excitement. As a noun, the phrase is usually hyphenated. It's a big turn-on when a guy is a good listener.
See also: on, turn

turn on, tune in, drop out

A slogan urging people to experiment with psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, in order to perceive the world in new ways and challenge the natural order of society. Popularized by the psychologist Timothy Leary in the 1960s. A: "I'm worried Tom might be getting into drugs." B: "A lot of kids go through a 'turn on, tune in, and drop out' phase, especially during college. I'm sure he'll grow out of it."
See also: drop, out, tune, turn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

drop out

 (of something)
1. . Lit. to fall out of something. One by one, the skydivers dropped out of the plane. The marshmallows dropped out of the bag.
2. Lit. or Fig. [for the bottom of something] to break loose and drop. The bottom dropped out of the box, spilling everything everywhere. The bottom dropped out of the stock market, and we lost a lot of money.
3. Fig. [for someone] to resign from or cease being a member of something; [for someone] to leave school. Sally dropped out of school for some unknown reason. But why did she drop out?
See also: drop, out

tune something in

to adjust a radio or television set so that something can be received. Couldyou tune the newscast in? Please tune in the station a little better.
See also: tune

tune in

 (on someone or something) and tune in (to someone or something)
1. Lit. to adjust a radio or television set to receive a broadcast of someone or something. Let's tune in on the late news. I don't want to tune in tonight.
2. and tune in (to something) Fig. to pay attention to someone or something. I just can't tune in on these professors. I listen and I try, but I just can't tune in.
See also: tune

tune in

(to something) Go to tune in (on someone or something).
See also: tune

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, tune in, drop out.

A slogan (popularized by Dr. Timothy Leary) promoting the use of LSD among young people. The key phrase in the heyday of acid was "turn on, tune in, drop out." Millions heard "turn on, tune in, drop out" and did just that.
See also: drop, out, tune, turn
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

drop out

Withdraw from participation in a group such as a school, club, or game; also, withdraw from society owing to disillusionment. For example, He couldn't afford the membership dues and had to drop out, or She planned to drop out from college for a year. [Late 1800s]
See also: drop, out

tune in

1. Adjust a receiver to receive a particular program or signals at a particular frequency, as in Tune in tomorrow, folks, for more up-to-date news. [Early 1900s]
2. Be aware or responsive, as in She's really tuned in to teenagers. [1920s] For an antonym, see tune out.
See also: tune

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
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.

drop out

v.
1. To fall out of something: My card must have dropped out of the bag at some point.
2. To make or let something or someone fall out of something: I dropped the stones out of the window.
3. To withdraw from participation in something, as a game, club, or school: The committee is trying to determine why so many students were dropping out. I dropped out of algebra because it was too hard. I dropped history out of my schedule this term.
4. To withdraw from established society, especially due to disillusionment with conventional values: My cousin dropped out and moved to the tropics.
5. To omit something: This computer drops out the semicolons. The old stereo drops the bass out.
6. To be omitted: When words are contracted, some sounds or letters drop out.
See also: drop, out

tune in

v.
1. To connect to or start receiving a particular broadcast station or program: Millions of viewers tuned in at 6:00 for the football game.
2. To become aware of or responsive to someone or something: It wasn't until after the disaster that I really tuned in to what was happening overseas.
3. To cause someone to become aware of or responsive to someone or something: One of my classmates tuned me in to politics.
See also: tune

turn on

v.
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
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.

drop out

1. in. to withdraw from a conventional lifestyle. Sometimes I just want to drop out and raise pigs or something.
2. in. to drop out of school or some organization. Don’t drop out of school. You’ll regret it.
3. and dropout n. someone who has dropped out of school. Dropouts may find it very hard to get a job.
See also: drop, out

tune in

verb
See also: tune

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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