1

churn

noun \ ˈchərn \
Updated on: 4 Dec 2017

Definition of churn

plural churns
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

Recent Examples of churn from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of churn

Middle English chyrne, from Old English cyrin; akin to Old Norse kjarni churn

Other Household Terms


2

churn

verb

Definition of churn

transitive verb
1 : to agitate (milk or cream) in a churn in order to make butter
  • The farmer churns his cream every day.
2 a : 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 : 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)
2 a : 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

Examples of churn in a Sentence

  1. The motorboats churned the water.

  2. The water churned all around us.

  3. The wheels began to slowly churn.

  4. He showed them how to churn butter.

Recent Examples of churn from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of churn

see 1churn

churn Synonyms

Synonyms
boil, seethe, moil, roil
Related Words
reel, spin, swirl, whirl; agitate, stir
Near Antonyms
abate, calm, subside

CHURN Defined for English Language Learners

churn

noun

Definition of churn for English Language Learners

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


churn

verb

Definition of churn for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

churn

noun \ ˈchərn \

Definition of churn for Students

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

2

churn

verb

Definition of churn for Students

churned; churning
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.

Law Dictionary

churn

transitive verb \ 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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