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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fair warning to Netflix, Disney, Paramount or any of the other entertainment companies looking to compete in streaming video: The problem of subscriber churn isn’t going away anytime soon. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Mar. 2022 Each new summer brings a certain amount of churn, usually with a slightly different crew, a different coach and a different coxswain. Ted Diadiun, cleveland, 19 Mar. 2022 The constant churn of hiring, onboarding and resigning is resource-draining and expensive. Kelly Lockwood Primus, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2022 Moore, of Exabeam, said the tightening labor market nationwide might also be affecting cloud services and internet reliability, as any increase in churn reduces the experience level of the people in charge. NBC News, 8 Dec. 2021 Audiences numbers are still important but the measure of success has changed thanks to streaming from eyeballs to how a title drives subscriber sign-ups and drives down churn, Bisson argued. John Hopewell, Variety, 6 Apr. 2022 Data analytics firm Antenna found that the average monthly churn for streaming video services reached 5.2% by the end of 2021, up from 3.2% at the start of 2019. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2022 By contrast, constant hiring and resignations bring unwanted chaos and churn. Phil Blair, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Mar. 2022 Canal planners rightly determined that the churn and wash from paddle-wheel steamboats would degrade the waterway walls, Kervick said. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, 17 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton's name continues to churn in the rumor mill, not even the team's owner knows about his status for next season. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, 25 Jan. 2022 The horizon was cloaked in rain clouds, and the downpour was just long enough to burnish the palm leaves and churn the fragrance of the white takamaka flowers — reminiscent of gardenias — that grow in profusion. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 19 Apr. 2022 Underserved Use Cases: A sales team can provide data and context for customers that churn more frequently so product teams can tailor their development efforts. Vanessa Dreifuss, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 So your crucial role as a parent, and as a person grieving, is to show your son what life looks like when bad things happen and churn up big emotions. Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2022 The horizon was cloaked in rain clouds, and the downpour was just long enough to burnish the palm leaves and churn the fragrance of the white takamaka flowers — reminiscent of gardenias — that grow in profusion. Marcia Desanctis, Travel + Leisure, 19 Mar. 2022 Perhaps this detente is a mere facade, a public front meant to appease the masses and slow the onslaught of questions while, below the surface, the waters continue to roil and churn. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Feb. 2022 Like adding heat to a pot of water and bringing it from a simmer to a rolling boil, adding money to it means more churn and more variability. Christopher Mims, WSJ, 6 Jan. 2022 Customer service reps can proactively reach out to customer accounts that are likely to churn. Scott Castle, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near churn

churm

churn

churnability

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Statistics for churn

Last Updated

6 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Churn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/churn. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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.

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on churn

Nglish: Translation of churn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of churn for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about churn

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