turn·off | \ ˈtərn-ˌȯf \

Definition of turnoff 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a place where one turns off especially : exit sense 4

2 : one that causes loss of interest or enthusiasm the music was a turnoff

3 : a turning off

turn off


Definition of turn off (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to stop the flow of or shut off by or as if by turning a control turn the water off

2 : to cause to lose interest : bore economics turns me off also : to evoke a negative feeling in

3a : dismiss, discharge

b : to dispose of : sell

4 : deflect, evade

7a : to remove (material) by the process of turning

b : to shape or produce by turning

intransitive verb

1 : to deviate from a straight course or from a main road turn off into a side road

2a British : to turn bad : spoil

b : to change to a specified state : become

3 : to lose interest : withdraw

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Synonyms & Antonyms for turnoff

Synonyms: Verb

deactivate, kill, shut off

Antonyms: Verb

activate, actuate, crank (up), drive, move, propel, run, set off, spark, start, touch off, trigger, turn on

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Examples of turnoff in a Sentence


His strong cologne was a real turnoff.


that memorably bad meal turned me off about restaurant food for a while turn off at the third exit and follow the ramp to your left
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To reach the Point of the Mountain Vista rest area from the CR 4124 turnoff, continue 2.3 miles east on SR 260 to SR 261, past mile marker 393. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Arizona hike: Wildlife abounds on the South Fork Trail," 19 June 2018 The idea of her dominating you like that might be a huge turnoff. Steve & Mia, Philly.com, "Steve & Mia: How to broach an unusual sex request," 12 July 2018 The turnoff is at Castella, bound for Castle Crags State Park. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Castle Crags’ spectacular little seen world," 5 Apr. 2018 Sloppy kisses are a huge turnoff, so don’t go overboard with the tongue, especially at first. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "11 Mistakes to Avoid During a Hot Makeout Sesh," 12 June 2018 The turnoff to it and Kokee Lodge is just beyond mile marker 15 on the highway. Jay Jones, latimes.com, "Where to hike in Kauai to one of the wettest spots on the planet," 18 June 2018 Best ways to get there: Drive through Yosemite National Park and over Tioga Pass to U.S. 395, and then drive south for 30 miles to the Highway 203 turnoff for Mammoth Lakes. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Trails, camps, lakes open for summer in Land of Muir," 17 June 2018 Directly across the highway is the turnoff for the Rim Road. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Cool off this summer at these lakes near Payson," 8 June 2018 State television is a turnoff for most of the public. Jim Michaels, USA TODAY, "While the world is inundated with summit news, North Koreans are told almost nothing," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As reported in the Chinese business outlet Caixin, the Civil Aviation Administration said the co-pilot had tried to turn off a circulation fan so that the fumes from his vaping would not go into the cabin. David Meyer, Fortune, "How a Vaping Co-Pilot Allegedly Caused an Oxygen Emergency on His Plane," 13 July 2018 The guards repeatedly asked Thomas to turn off the car and to get out of the vehicle, according to the documents. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Security guards with Overland Park firm murder man in car outside KC bar, police say," 11 July 2018 Open the Settings app on your phone and select Apps > Messages (the Samsung one) > Permissions to turn off Messages' access to your phone’s storage. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Three ways to stop your Samsung Galaxy phone from randomly texting out your pics," 3 July 2018 Two years ago, police officers asked the organizers at Pride at Montrose, the kickoff event of Black Pride, to turn off the music, effectively putting an end to the event. Devlyn Camp, Chicago Reader, "Perspective / News / LGBTQ+ Pride double standard? Bars upset after police forced some to close early after parade," 29 June 2018 In this case, the combination of disruptions in New York and North Carolina were enough to turn off the internet for millions of people. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Friday's Massive Comcast Outage Shows How Fragile the Internet Is," 29 June 2018 City employees were ordered to turn off their computers to stop a virus from spreading and encrypting data. Stephen Deere, ajc, "Bottoms’ budget reflects issues in campaign, early crises in office," 20 June 2018 The show’s headliners, Shoreline Mafia, performed after a lengthy delay with microphones that almost seemed to be completely turned off. Marcel Friday, Billboard, "Los Angeles Shows Up to See 03 Greedo One Last Time at Globe Theatre Event," 18 June 2018 Who knows which strategies tend to work, and which ones are guaranteed to turn off your potential employer? Lindsey Lanquist, SELF, "How to Negotiate Your Salary: Managers’ 13 Top Tips," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'turnoff.' 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 turnoff


circa 1852, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1564, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3a

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Statistics for turnoff

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turnoff

The first known use of turnoff was in 1564

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More Definitions for turnoff



English Language Learners Definition of turnoff

: a road that allows vehicles to leave a highway

: something that you dislike or that causes you to stop being interested in or attracted to someone or something

More from Merriam-Webster on turnoff

See words that rhyme with turnoff

Comments on turnoff

What made you want to look up turnoff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make amends

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