churn

noun
\ ˈchərn How to pronounce churn (audio) \
plural churns

Definition of churn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a container in which cream is stirred or shaken to make butter
2 : a regular, quantifiable process or rate of change that occurs in a business over a period of time as existing customers are lost and new customers are added The biggest problem they face is churn. Wireless providers lose an average of about 30% of their customers a year to competitors.— Brian O'Reilly also : a similar process or rate of change involving loss and addition of employees, companies, etc. The resulting employment churn—the average job tenure is now two years, and today's typical 32-year-old has held nine different jobs—means more risks as well as more opportunities to discover new paths. — Jamais Cascio

churn

verb
churned; churning; churns

Definition of churn (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to agitate (milk or cream) in a churn in order to make butter The farmer churns his cream every day.
2a : to stir or agitate violently an old stern-wheeler churning the muddy river larger particles pound and churn the Moon's surface— E. M. Shoemaker
b : to make (something, such as foam) by so doing
3 of a stockbroker or brokerage : to make (the account of a client) excessively active by frequent purchases and sales primarily in order to generate commissions unscrupulous brokers may churn an account, trading frequently to generate high commissions— Mary Rowland

intransitive verb

1 : to work a churn (as in making butter)
2a : to produce, proceed with, or experience violent motion or agitation her stomach was churning churning legs
b : to proceed by or as if by means of rotating members (such as wheels or propellers) boats churning across the harbor

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Synonyms for churn

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of churn in a Sentence

Verb The motorboats churned the water. The water churned all around us. The wheels began to slowly churn. He showed them how to churn butter.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This will provide all frontline personnel with a better view of the customer’s value to the organization as well as attributes that influence churn. Forrester, Forbes, "Three Key CRM Trends In 2021 That Will Allow You To Better Engage Your Customers," 9 Apr. 2021 It’s even fair to say that Patrick Ewing, before a three-day miracle run in the Big East tournament this month, had been on a path to failure with lots of losses and roster churn. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Mike Woodson is in for rude awakening as Indiana men's basketball coach," 29 Mar. 2021 In addition to recruiting and roster churn, the last few weeks have been busy for Riley and his family. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "South Alabama’s Richie Riley not worried about rapid roster turnover," 23 Mar. 2021 As attitudes around consumerism and sustainability have shifted to embrace less churn and waste, investing in a bag like the Birkin has grown more appealing. Leah Chernikoff, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Cultural Endurance of the Mighty, Mighty Birkin," 22 Mar. 2021 Bubble, bubble, rat hair and stubble Cellulose churn, diglycerides bubble. Jay Martel, The New Yorker, "Macmuffin: A Tragedy," 8 Mar. 2021 Outside of the churn of big-money catalog acquisitions and enthusiasts wibbling on about the potential of Clubhouse and NFTs, the industry (like many of us?) is in an oddly inert place right now. Tim Ingham, Rolling Stone, "Is Universal Music Worth $29 Billion? $49 Billion? Even $100 Billion?," 22 Mar. 2021 What does that customer churn rate do to future sales? Shep Hyken, Forbes, "Selling To The C-Suite: Make The Complicated Simple," 21 Mar. 2021 The churn rate for tenants is extraordinary, and the cost of buying new buildings doesn’t add up. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "A New WeWork Documentary Relives Its Roller Coaster Story," 17 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For a subset of neutron stars, that fluid would churn enough to set in motion something similar to the roiling dynamos that power magnetic fields inside Earth or the Sun. Joshua Sokol, Science | AAAS, "Nature’s most magnetic objects, ripped apart in starquakes, can unleash powerful flashes of light," 8 Apr. 2021 Refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 to 6 hours or overnight, and churn according to the instructions on the ice cream maker. Katy Severson, chicagotribune.com, "How to make ice cream," 19 Mar. 2021 Though some American pizzerias reach those lofty heights, most Americans buy their pizzas frozen or eat them at churn-and-burn pie chains. Francesco Lastrucci, Smithsonian Magazine, "Inside Naples’ World-Famous Pizza Culture," 20 Feb. 2021 Anyone who is optioned to the minors the rest of the way is likely to be up by the end of April for sheer roster churn either way. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "The Orioles’ roster is ‘definitely becoming more clear’ after Friday’s roster moves. Where do they leave the club as spring training winds down?," 27 Mar. 2021 Yet in the blustery skies above Kern County’s Tehachapi Mountains — where towering wind turbines churn with hypnotic rhythm — renewable energy and wildlife preservation appear to be headed for a disastrous collision. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "Portland energy company will breed California condors to replace any birds killed by turbine blades," 4 Mar. 2021 That in turn reduces churn, since someone who’s not feeling Disney+ for a few months will likely stick around if they are being served well by Hulu and ESPN+. Josef Adalian, Vulture, "The Streaming Price Wars Have Begun," 11 Feb. 2021 Yet in the blustery skies above Kern County’s Tehachapi Mountains — where towering wind turbines churn with hypnotic rhythm — renewable energy and wildlife preservation appear to be headed for a disastrous collision. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "Portland energy company will breed California condors to replace any birds killed by turbine blades," 4 Mar. 2021 And the economy continues to churn along, with forecasters predicting annual growth in 2021 as high as 6.5%. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "How to make the US stimulus better," 23 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'churn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of churn

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for churn

Noun

Middle English chirne, cherne, going back to Old English cirm (erroneously for cirin or cirn), cyrin, going back to Germanic *kernō, kernōn (whence also Middle Dutch keerne, kerne "butter churn," Middle Low German kerne, karne, kirne, Old Norse kirna —in kirnuaskr "churn pail"), of uncertain origin

Verb

Middle English chyrnen, derivative of chirne, cherne churn entry 1

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Time Traveler for churn

Time Traveler

The first known use of churn was before the 12th century

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Statistics for churn

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Churn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/churn. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for churn

churn

noun

English Language Learners Definition of churn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a container in which cream is stirred or shaken to make butter

churn

verb

English Language Learners Definition of churn (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stir or mix something (such as water or mud) with force
: to move in a circle
: to make (butter) by stirring or shaking cream in a churn

churn

noun
\ ˈchərn How to pronounce churn (audio) \

Kids Definition of churn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a container in which milk or cream is stirred or shaken in making butter

churn

verb
churned; churning

Kids Definition of churn (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to stir or shake in a churn (as in making butter)
2 : to stir or shake forcefully The boat's motor churned up the mucky water.
3 : to feel the effects of an emotion (as fear) My stomach churned as I stood on the stage.
4 : to move by or as if by forceful stirring action Steamboats churned up and down the river.
\ ˈchərn \

Legal Definition of churn

: to make (the account of a client) excessively active by frequent purchases and sales primarily in order to generate commissions

Note: Churning is a violation of federal securities laws.

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Comments on churn

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