turn

turn vb 1 Turn, revolve, rotate, gyrate, circle, spin, twirl, whirl, wheel, eddy, swirl, pirouette can all mean to go or move or cause to go or move in a circle.
Turn is a general rather colorless word implying movement in circle after circle or in a single full circle or through an arc of a circle. It is interchangeable with most of the other terms in their less specific uses
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a wheel turning on its axle

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turned to speak to his friend

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Revolve may suggest regular circular motion on an orbit around something exterior to the item in question
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the earth revolves around the sun

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It may refer to the dependence of the less important, the secondary, on something cardinal or pivotal which resolves or determines
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though local questions, such as the State Bank and state aid to railroads, gave rise to sharp contests, politics usually revolved around national questions—/!. B. Moore

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everything in that house revolved upon Aunt Mary— Deland

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Rotate is likely to suggest a circular motion on an interior axis within the thing under consideration which may be not moving otherwise
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the earth rotates on its axis while it revolves in its orbit

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Gyrate may suggest the regularity of revolve, but it is more likely to be used to indicate a fluctuating or swinging back and forth which describes circular or spiral patterns
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stocks gyrated dizzily on uncertainty over the foreign situation— Wall Street Jour.

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a low cloud of dust raised by the dog gyrating madly about— Conrad

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Circle basically applies to a movement around in a more or less circular pattern, but it can also be used with reference to a lack of straight directness in a winding course
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a flock of black ibises circled high overhead wheeling endlessly on the ascending air currents— Dillon Ripley

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the essayist's license to circle and meander— Woolf

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or, specifically, to a curved or arched course followed in avoiding something
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the soldiers were circling homewards in high spirits at a safe distance from the war area— Wain

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Spin implies rapid sustained rotation on an inner axis or fast circling around an exterior point
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he who but ventures into the outer circle of the whirlpool is spinning, ere he has time for thought, in its dizzy vortex— Bayard Taylor

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Twirl can add to the ideas of spin those of dexterity, lightness, or easy grace
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this . . . book ... I toss i' the air, and catch again, and twirl about— Browning

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Whirl stresses force, power, speed, and impetus of rotary or circular motion
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and collections of opaque particles whirled to shore by the eddies— Bartram

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the withered leaves had gathered violence in pursuit, and were whirling after her like a bevy of witches— Glasgow

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Wheel may suggest either going in a circular or twisted course or turn-ing on an arc or curve to a new course
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a familiar sight is the turkey vulture wheeling against the skies to the north— Amer. Guide Series: Ariz.

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she had crossed the threshold to the porch, when, wheeling abruptly, she went back into the hall— Glasgow

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Eddy suggests the circular movement, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, of an eddy; it may be used in situations involving indirection, futility, or isolation from main currents
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as the smoke slowly eddied away—Crane

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the dead leaves which eddied slowly down through the windless calmWest

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waves of friends and reporters eddied through the . . . apartment— Time

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Swirl suggests more rapidity, flow, or graceful attractiveness than eddy
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further than ever comet flared or vagrant star dust swirledKipling

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the black water was running like a millrace and raising a turbulent coil as it swirled and tossed over the ugly heads of jutting rocks— Costain

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her dark hair swirled about her face— Helen Howe

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Pirouette suggests the light graceful turning of a ballet dancer
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ashes pirouetted down, coquetting with young beeches— Tennyson

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Analogous words: *swing, oscillate, vibrate, fluctuate, pendulate, undulate
2 Turn, divert, deflect, avert, sheer are comparable when they mean to change or cause to change course or direction.
Turn is the most comprehensive of these words and the widest in its range of application. It may be used in reference to any change in course or direction of something movable, no matter how small or how large an arc is traversed, but it usually requires qualification
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here the river turns slightly to the north

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he turned the car just in time to avoid a collision

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the force of the impact turned the boat completely around

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It may also be used in reference to something (as things that show a drift, a bent, or a tendency or persons or things that can respond to an influence) which follows a figurative course or proceeds in a definite direction
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turn the conversation to livelier topics

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turn public opinion against a person

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turn an enemy into a friend

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even the younger men had turned against me— Yeats

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in his need his thoughts turned to the sea which had given him so much . . . congenial solitude— Conrad

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Divert may be preferred to turn when there is an implication of an imposed change in an existent or a natural course or direction
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divert a river by providing a new channel

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the unfounded belief that a lightning rod is capable of diverting lightning from a building it is about to strike

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the machinery of our eco-nomic life has been diverted from peace to war— Attlee

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When used in reference to a person's concerns (as thoughts, interests, attention, or intentions) it often presupposes mental concentration, fixity of attention, or resoluteness of purpose; therefore, when an attempt to alter the situation (as by distracting, dissuading, or sidetracking) is to be suggested, divert is the appropriate word
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hard to divert his attention when he is engrossed in study

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had I spoke with her, I could have well diverted her intents— Shak.

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could France or Rome divert our brave designs, with all their brandies or with all their wines?— Pope

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Deflect, in contrast to divert, implies a turning (as by bouncing, refracting, or ricocheting) from a straight course or a fixed direction
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deflect a ray of light by passing it through a prism

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deflect a magnetic needle

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In its extended use it is chiefly referred to thoughts, purposes, or interests that pursue a rigid or clearly defined course or direction; consequently the word sometimes connotes deviation or aberration
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he underwent all those things— but none of them deflected his purpose— Belloc

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after all, she had perhaps purposely deflected the conversation from her own affairs— Wharton

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Avert implies a turning away from what is before one physically or mentally; it is used chiefly in reference to something at which one has been looking or of which one has been thinking and carries commonly a strong implication of avoidance and, often, a further suggestion of repugnance
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tried to avert her eyes; but like a child irresistibly drawn to peek at the monster in a horror movie... kept glancing at Mr. Greech— Wouk

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the last drop of her magnanimity had been spent, and she tried to avert her shuddering mind from Charlotte— Wharton

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Sheer is used basically in reference to the turning of a boat or ship from its course especially in an emergency
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the yachts sheered to so that their captains could speak to each other

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sheer off the boat just in time to avoid collision with a rock

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In its extended use the word commonly implies a sudden or conspicuous turning aside from a path or course that has been followed
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an age when the interests of popular liberty and of intellectual freedom had sheered off from the church— J. R. Green

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Analogous words: *swerve, veer, deviate, diverge, digress, depart: *move, shift
3 *resort, refer, apply, go
4 *depend, hinge, hang
turn n 1 trick, tour, shift, *spell, stint, bout, go
2 *gift, bent, faculty, aptitude, genius, talent, knack
Analogous words: inclination, disposition, predisposition, bias (see corresponding verbs at INCLINE): propensity, proclivity, penchant, *leaning, flair

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:
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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Turn — (t[^u]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Turned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Turning}.] [OE. turnen, tournen, OF. tourner, torner, turner, F. tourner, LL. tornare, fr. L. tornare to turn in a lathe, to rounds off, fr. tornus a lathe, Gr. ? a turner s chisel, a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • turn — [tʉrn] vt. [ME turnen < OE turnian & OFr turner, tourner, both < L tornare, to turn in a lathe, turn < tornus, lathe < Gr tornos, lathe, carpenter s compasses, akin to terein, to bore through: for IE base see THROW] I to cause to… …   English World dictionary

  • turn — ► VERB 1) move in a circular direction wholly or partly around an axis. 2) move into a different position, especially so as to face or move in the opposite direction. 3) change in nature, state, form, or colour; make or become. 4) shape on a… …   English terms dictionary

  • Turn — Turn, v. i. 1. To move round; to have a circular motion; to revolve entirely, repeatedly, or partially; to change position, so as to face differently; to whirl or wheel round; as, a wheel turns on its axis; a spindle turns on a pivot; a man turns …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Turn — Turn, n. 1. The act of turning; movement or motion about, or as if about, a center or axis; revolution; as, the turn of a wheel. [1913 Webster] 2. Change of direction, course, or tendency; different order, position, or aspect of affairs;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • turn — TURN, turnuri, s.n. 1. Construcţie prismatică sau cilindrică, clădită separat sau făcând parte dintr un complex arhitectural, fiind de obicei mai înaltă decât celelalte construcţii. ♢ Turn de răcire = construcţie de lemn, de piatră, de beton… …   Dicționar Român

  • turn — turn; coun·ter·turn; re·turn·abil·i·ty; re·turn·able; re·turn·ee; re·turn·less; tac·i·turn; tac·i·turn·ly; top·sy·turn; turn·able; turn·bull s; turn·dun; turn·halle; turn·pik·er; turn·sole; turn·ver·ein; un·turn; noc·turn; re·turn; turn·wrest;… …   English syllables

  • Turn — may refer to:In music: *Turn (music), a sequence of several notes next to each other in the scale *Turn (band), an Irish rock group:* Turn LP, a 2005 rock album by Turn * Turn (The Ex album), a 2004 punk album by The Ex * Turn (Feeder song), a… …   Wikipedia

  • turn — [n1] revolution, curving about face, angle, bend, bias, bow, branch, change, changeabout, circle, circuit, circulation, circumvolution, corner, curve, cycle, departure, detour, deviation, direction, drift, flection, flexure, fork, gyration, gyre …   New thesaurus

  • Turn It Up — «Turn It Up» Sencillo de Paris Hilton del álbum Paris Publicación 15 de julio de 2006 Formato Descarga digital, sencillo en CD Grabación 2006 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Turn It Up — may refer to:* Turn It Up (film), a 2000 drama/musical movie * Turn It Up! , an American television game show * Turn It Up (album), an album by Shannon Noll * , an album by Busta Rhymes * Turn It Up (Johnta Austin song) * Turn It Up (Brandy song) …   Wikipedia

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