General English


  • noun a profit or commission


  • noun a section of a wire which is wound 360° around a centre
  • verb to make an angular change in track
  • verb to find a page, section, passage, etc., in a book


  • verb to change direction, to go round in a circle


  • noun movement of the ball off the pitch as a result of spin imparted by the bowler
    Citation ‘There were also fine cracks in the pitch, and one could move the earth between the cracks with one’s hand: this suggested both uneven bounce and the chance of turn later’ (Brearley 1982)
  • noun a quality in the wicket that makes it conducive to spin
    Citation ‘Though the Manchester wicket had turn, the Indian spinners failed to make the most of it’ (Purandare 2005)
  • verb (of the ball) to change direction after pitching, especially as a result of spin imparted by the bowler; break
    Citation ‘Bracewell made the next breakthrough with his off-spinners, which were sometimes turning though never lifting’ (Robin Marlar, Sunday Times 28 August 1983)
  • verb (of the wicket) to be conducive to spin
    Citation ‘All critics agree that his sixty-odd on a turning wicket in the last Test against Pakistan in 1958 was batting at the peak’ (James 1963)
    Citation ‘We do want to see a wide range of pitches: some which start damp, some which start dry, some which seam and some which don’t, some which turn on the third day and others on the first’ (Scyld Berry, Cricinfo Magazine June 2006)


  • A single wind or loop of a wire or conductor, such as that in a coil.


  • verb to become sour or start to ferment, usually undesirably
  • verb to rotate a piece of food so that it cooks or browns evenly
  • verb to shape vegetables for decoration


  • noun a movement in a circle, or a change of direction
    a profit or commission


  • noun a slight illness or attack of dizziness


  • noun a metal character which has been put in upside down, because the correct character was not available
  • verb to change direction or to put something in a different way

Origin & History of “turn”

The ultimate source of turn is Greek tórnos ‘lathe’, which was probably related to Latin terere ‘rub’ (source of English attrition, detritus, trite, etc). Latin took this over as tornus and formed a verb from it, tornāre ‘turn on a lathe’, hence ‘round off, make smooth’. Old English borrowed tornāre as turnian, which was later reinforced by Old French turner. To the same word family belong tour and tournament.