turn away(redirected from turn something away)
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1. Literally, to turn one's body, head, or eyes in a different direction, typically to avoid facing or looking at someone or something. I turned away as the couple started fighting in front of me. Don't turn away—look at me!
2. To dismiss, reject, spurn, or refuse someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "away." It broke my heart, but I had to turn the couple away because they didn't meet our lending criteria. The store began turning away customers who hadn't already preordered the device. She turned away his romantic advances.
3. To repel, repulse, or ward off someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "away." Extremely high prices in the area have been turning away would-be homeowners. The sight of blood turned me away.
4. To divert or deflect someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "away." Despite numerous scandals coming to light, the politician has managed to turn away serious criticism from nearly everyone.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
turn (away) (from someone or something)
to turn oneself to avoid someone or something. She turned away from me as I walked past, pretending not to see me. She turned from Ken and ran.
turn (someone or an animal) away (from something)
to cause someone or an animal to avoid moving toward something; to cause someone or an animal to avoid moving toward harm. The police officer turned the pedestrians away from the scene of the accident. He turned the horses away from the gate.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Send away, dismiss, as in They ran short and had to turn away many customers. [Late 1500s]
2. Repel, as in The high prices turned away prospective buyers.
3. Avert, deflect, as in She managed to turn away all criticism. [Late 1300s]
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 rotate and face another direction; avert one's eyes: I tried to speak to my friends, but they just turned away. Turn away while I get dressed.
2. To send someone or something away; dismiss someone or something: We turned away the people who were looking for a job. The new boss turns all criticism away.
3. To repel someone or something: The poor location of the house turned away prospective buyers. The horrible smell turned the police officer away.
4. turn away from To abandon or forsake someone or something: The volunteers turned away from the agency because they felt unappreciated.
5. turn away from To cause someone or something to abandon or forsake someone or something: Their college life turned our children away from our traditional values.
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.
1. in. to go over to the other side, as with a spy or a criminal turning into an informer. (Underworld.) Is there a chance that Bart would turn?
2. tv. to corrupt someone; to turn someone to a life of crime. Pete was trying to turn a young kid.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.