turn on

verb

Definition of turn on

transitive verb

1 : to activate or cause to flow, operate, or function by or as if by turning a control turn the water on full turn on the power
2a : to move pleasurably rock music turns her on also : to excite sexually
b : to cause to gain knowledge or appreciation of something specified turned her on to ballet
c : to cause to undergo an intense often visionary experience by taking a drug broadly : to cause to get high

intransitive verb

: to become turned on

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from turn on

turn-on \ ˈtərn-​ˌȯn , -​ˌän \ noun

Examples of turn on in a Sentence

unsurprisingly, the fanboys were turned on by the movie's amazing special effects and slam-bang plot would you turn on the TV?

Recent Examples on the Web

There, the all too often impersonal doctors’ office experience is turned on its head. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Inside the New York Wellness Space That Could Be the Future of Primary Care," 30 Jan. 2019 Or, if the Mac is already turned on, go to Apple (on the upper left of the screen) -> System Preferences -> Startup Disk -> Target Disk Mode. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "How to Recover Your Data from a Dead Hard Drive," 17 Jan. 2019 Residents in Kryvy Rih, a city of 600,000 in Ukraine’s southeast, on Monday set tires on fire and seized the building of the local gas company demanding that the heating be turned on. Yuras Karmanau, The Seattle Times, "Ukrainians protest as gas dispute leaves scores freezing," 13 Nov. 2018 Recent work by Adrian Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy and Maarten Bos shows that just having your smartphone next to you—even if it isn’t turned on—can diminish your cognitive capacity. Shlomo Benartzi, WSJ, "The High Financial Price of Our Short Attention Spans," 21 Oct. 2018 At Slack, the company has their robots routinely run a physical readiness check on meeting rooms — visually scanning for things like if the chairs are present and if the screens for video conferencing are turned on. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "Is this robot really going to replace a security guard?," 8 Oct. 2018 Two Energetic Particle Instruments have also been turned on and checked, along with the spacecraft’s Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe (WISPR). James Rogers, Fox News, "NASA's Parker Solar Probe gets closer to 'touching the Sun'," 6 Sep. 2018 Most of her work came with double entendres that were sharp as swords and could quickly be turned on their heads. Koko Ntuen, Teen Vogue, "Aretha Franklin Taught Me to Respect Myself and Demand Respect from the World," 17 Aug. 2018 But the tables were turned on Tuesday at a rather unusual candidate debate for six people campaigning to become Boston’s chief prosecutor. New York Times, "Inmates Question Prospective Prosecutors in Jailhouse Campaign Debate," 26 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of turn on

1833, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about turn on

Statistics for turn on

Last Updated

4 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turn on

The first known use of turn on was in 1833

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on turn on

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turn on

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for turn on

Nglish: Translation of turn on for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of turn on for Arabic Speakers

Comments on turn on

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

WORD OF THE DAY

esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!