turn on


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

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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

Roscoe's, a popular gay bar in Boystown, was closed at 10:30 PM by the police, who abruptly turned on the lights and told everyone to leave, said owner Jim Ludwig. Devlyn Camp, Chicago Reader, "Perspective / News / LGBTQ+ Pride double standard? Bars upset after police forced some to close early after parade," 29 June 2018 These neurons produce a protein, called corazonin, that turns on the ejaculation process. National Geographic, "Fruit Flies Likely Enjoy Sex, Offering Clues Into Drug Addiction," 19 Apr. 2018 The Essentia also can communicate with smart-home systems to preprogram the HVAC settings, turn on lights, and allow for package deliveries—and even for electronic payments via the center screen. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "Genesis Essentia Concept: High-Tech Coupe Dreams," 29 Mar. 2018 Had the unit been turned on, the Rescue Coordination Center would probably have picked up a signal on the first day of the search. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "NTSB: Locator beacon turned off on small plane that crashed, killing Salcha couple," 10 July 2018 Staged on a simplistic set designed by stage manager Kelli Jones and others, the story begins during winter at an audition, as artistic director Gordon Page (played by Rob Allen) stumbles in the dark trying to turn on the power. Patti Restivo, Howard County Times, "Laurel Mill Playhouse presents 'Laughing Stock'," 6 July 2018 But Hannah Devlin at The Guardian reports that a new study suggests those pilots would likely need to turn on the windshield wipers — and take their ship to the nearest WookieWash after landing. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Our Galaxy Is Really Greasy and Smells Like Moth Balls," 28 June 2018 The strike also appeared to turn on the cruiser’s windshield wipers and the lights on another cruiser. David Harris, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Watch the moment a lightning strike hit Apopka police headquarters, putting scare into officer," 27 June 2018 But those sats could easily be turned on enemy satellites in an age when militaries are more reliant than ever on signals from orbit. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Is a Space Force Really the Best Way to Defend Space?," 22 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.

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First Known Use of turn on

1833, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for turn on

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for turn on

The first known use of turn on was in 1833

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