Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
1. To physically position oneself or someone to face someone or something in particular. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "to." We all turned to the stage as the lights in the auditorium dimmed. I turned the baby to the mobile, hoping that it would hold her attention.
2. To seek or rely on someone or something as an aid or for assistance through a difficult situation. My mom is someone that I can always turn to in times of need. I turned to my car's manual when I couldn't figure out what that weird dashboard light meant. I wish you wouldn't turn to alcohol when you're stressed about work.
3. To start doing something. In this usage, "turn to" can be a set phrase without a noun or pronoun after "to." Guys, we don't have all day to finish this project, so turn to! Now that breakfast is over, it's time for me to turn to the piles of dirty clothes in the laundry room.
4. To direct one's attention to someone or something. Once the holidays are over, I plan to turn to my spring coursework and get ahead on the reading.
5. To convert to a particular religion. Unfilled with other religions, I turned to Judaism later in life.
6. To open a book to a certain page or section. Please turn to page 51 so we can begin our discussion.
7. To shift or redirect one's loyalty to someone or something else. After that candidate's disappointing performance in the debate, many voters have turned to his opponent.
8. To change to a particular state or appearance. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "turn" and "to." The warm sunlight turned the snow to water. The audience was stunned as the simple white sheet appeared to turn to stone.
9. To change the setting of something to a particular value. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "turn" and "to." Can you turn the oven to 350° for me?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
turn someone or something to something
to aim someone or something to face something. The nurse turned the old man to the sun so he could get warm. Ken turned the plant to the light.
turn to someone or something (for something)
to seek or expect something from someone or something. I turned to Sally for advice. I turn to my dictionary for help two or three times a day.
Fig. to begin to get busy. Come on, you guys! Turn to! Let's get to work. If you people will turn to, we can finish this work in no time at all.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Begin work, apply oneself to, as in Next he turned to cutting wood for the fire. This usage was first recorded in 1667.
2. Refer to, consult, as in She turned to the help-wanted ads. This usage was first recorded in 1631.
3. Appeal to, apply to for help, as in At a time like this one turns to one's closest friends, or We'll have to turn to the French consulate for more information. This usage was first recorded in 1821. Also see turn to good account.
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 change the setting of something, such as a mechanical device, to some other setting by or as if by turning a dial: Please turn the iron to a lower setting so you don't burn the shirt. That night, everyone had their TVs turned to channel 5 to watch the news.
2. To progress through pages so as to arrive at some place: I turned to the next page to read the rest of the story. Please turn your textbooks to page 31.
3. To direct one's gaze to something by rotating or pivoting: The spectators turned to the sky as the jet flew overhead.
4. To devote or apply someone or something to someone or something: We turned our efforts to charity and community education.
5. To devote or apply oneself to someone or something: I wasn't very good in math, so I turned to biology.
6. To channel one's attention, interest, or thought to something: In the spring, we turn to thoughts of love.
7. To convert to some religion: He recently turned to Buddhism.
8. To switch one's loyalty to some other side or party: Many disillusioned voters have turned to third parties.
9. To have recourse to someone or something for help, support, or information: Whom will you turn to when you are in need?
10. To cause someone or something to take on some nature or appearance; change or transform someone or something to something: The low temperature has turned the river to ice.
11. To take on some nature or appearance: The tree's leaves turned to brown in the fall.
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.
- bear off from (someone or something)
- bring (someone or something) before (someone or something)
- be out of (one's) league
- be out of somebody's league
- accompany (one) on a/(one's) journey
- accompany on a journey
- be rough on (someone or something)
- be (not) a patch on
- be/have done with somebody/something
- be in (someone's) shoes