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1. To rotate. The Earth turns round on an axis, which gives us our nights and days.
2. To revolve around (something). The Earth turns round the Sun, which gives us our seasons.
3. To cause someone or something to rotate in one or more circles. A noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "round." I'll put this blindfold on you and turn you round, and then you try to hit the piñata with this stick. He turned the dial round until the tumblers of the lock clicked into place.
4. To rotate until oriented in the opposite direction. I turned round very quickly, certain I had heard someone say my name. The police car turned round and began pursuing the van that ran the red light.
5. To reverse the direction, course, or orientation of someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "round." I swear, if you kids don't stop fighting back there, I am going to turn this car round and take us straight back home! I turned the sign round so people wouldn't see what it said.
6. To cause someone or something to begin being successful or favorable after a period of decline. A noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "round." The new VP of Marketing has really turned things round for our company. We're hoping to turn our luck round with a win this Saturday.
7. To do something suddenly that is unexpected and often undesired. I was expecting a slap on the wrist or something for making such an inappropriate joke, but then they turned round and fired me! I was so shaken after she turned round and blamed me for what had happened.
8. To prepare something that has been used by someone else so that it is ready for the next person or people. The wait staff here is encouraged to turn round the tables as quickly as possible for new customers. The plane has arrived, but the airport staff has to turn it round before they'll let us aboard.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.