turn·​over | \ ˈtərn-ˌō-vər \

Definition of turnover

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) : the amount received in sales for a stated period
(2) : the ratio of sales for a stated period to average inventory
(3) : a cycle of purchase, sale, and replacement of a stock of goods
b : the number of persons hired within a period to replace those leaving or dropped from a workforce also : the ratio of this number to the number in the average force maintained
c : movement (as of goods or people) into, through, and out of a place
2 : the amount of business done especially : the volume of shares traded on a stock exchange
3 : the act or an instance of a team's losing possession of a ball through error or a minor violation of the rules (as in basketball or football)
4 : a filled pastry made by folding half of the crust over the other half
5 : an act or result of turning over : upset
6 : a turning from one side, place, or direction to its opposite : shift, reversal
7 : a reorganization with a view to a shift in personnel : shake-up
8 : something that is turned over
9 : the continuous process of loss and replacement of a constituent (such as a cell or tissue) of a living system



Definition of turnover (Entry 2 of 3)

: capable of being turned over

turn over


Definition of turn over (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to turn from an upright position : overturn
b : rotate turn over a stiff valve with a wrench also : to cause (an internal combustion engine) to begin firing
2 : deliver, surrender I'm turning the job over to you also : to lose possession of turned the ball over three times
3a : to do business to the amount of turning over $1000 a week
b : to receive and dispose of (a stock of merchandise)
4 : to search (clothes, papers, etc.) by lifting or moving one by one
5 : to read or examine (something, such as a book) slowly or idly

intransitive verb

1 : upset, capsize
2a : rotate
b of an engine : to have crankshaft rotation especially by external means (as by a starter) the engine turned over but didn't start
3a of one's stomach : to heave with nausea
b of one's heart : to seem to leap or lurch convulsively with sudden fright
turn over a new leaf
: to make a change for the better especially in one's way of living

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Examples of turnover in a Sentence


The company had an increase in turnover this quarter. The company has a high turnover rate. We want to find ways to speed up inventory turnover.


reluctantly turned the ship over to the first mate while he went below to try to stop the leak turned the evidence over to the police
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trump's administration has set records for turnover of senior officials, with more than 60 percent of those with the title of assistant to the president departing in the first 18 months. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Former Trump administration officials: A list of notable departures," 30 Aug. 2018 The company dealt with considerable turnover in marketing in late 2016, shortly after bringing in current CMO Brenda Freeman. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Magic Leap is supposed to go on sale in 2018.," 7 Aug. 2018 Watson left for Arkansas, Stevie Mussie was not retained after one season as his replacement and Tomasevic, an assistant under Mussie, was left to pick up the pieces as a first-time head coach dealing with major roster turnover. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU volleyball turns to corporate consultant for help after winless Pac-12 season," 30 June 2018 The turnover of top aides at his White House has also made history. CBS News, "Trump says "that I don't know" when asked if John Kelly is leaving," 29 June 2018 Flash forward more than a decade and issues with teacher turnover at JCPS' lowest-performing schools remain, and the use of incentive pay has resurfaced on the bargaining table. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Should JCPS pay teachers more if they work in low-performing schools?," 23 June 2018 In a league with much turnover throughout the season, De La Trinidad and first baseman Yoel Yanqui have been mainstays in the Cougars’ lineup. Paul Johnson, Aurora Beacon-News, "Hometown hero: Drafted by Diamondbacks, Phoenix native Ernie De La Trinidad off to promising start with Cougars," 17 June 2018 With the annual turnover of NFL rosters, many players who toured the site probably won’t be on the team when the Rams move out of the Coliseum and into the new stadium in 2020. Gary Klein, latimes.com, "Rams tour Inglewood Stadium site and like what they see as progress continues," 15 June 2018 The new chief of staff will be the third to hold the position in less than two years, reflecting an extraordinary level of turnover in the White House’s senior ranks. Michael C. Bender, WSJ, "Trump: Chief of Staff John Kelly to Leave Toward Year-End," 8 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Spring, on the other hand, has had success convincing a huge group of brands to turn over their product catalogues to its online storefront. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Michael Rubin’s ShopRunner plans to acquire the e-commerce startup Spring," 5 Oct. 2018 Goodlatte wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday, providing an Oct. 4 deadline for the Justice Department to turn over the material. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "House GOP, Deputy AG Rosenstein agree to meet to discuss 'wire' report," 28 Sep. 2018 Lawmakers have threatened to hold top Justice officials in contempt or impeach them if the documents aren't turned over. NBC News, "House Republicans grill FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts," 27 June 2018 The struggle continued as the man turned over on his back and kicked an officer in the chest, then pulled another screwdriver out and tried to stab officers again. Laney Ruckstuhl, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston police officers injured in struggle with Hyde Park man," 22 June 2018 The House had issued a subpoena demanding Greitens' secretive dark money nonprofit, A New Missouri Inc., turn over records that lawmakers believed could demonstrate efforts to illegally circumvent the state's campaign disclosure laws. Jason Hancock And Lindsay Wise, kansascity, "Behind the scenes of Eric Greitens' decision to resign. 'No one saw it coming.'," 10 June 2018 Where to Eat and DrinkYou can’t go wrong eating the street food here, which is well-cooked, caters to Westerners (no surprise meat here), and turns over quickly (which means you won’t be sold something that’s been lingering for days). Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Luang Prabang Is the Ideal Southeast Asian City," 20 Nov. 2018 In just over two weeks, the summer season will officially begin, beach vacations will commence, and wardrobes will get turned over for good. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Totes, Top Handles, and Pretty Pouches: These Are the Biggest Bag Trends of Summer 2018," 15 May 2018 The children's bodies were eventually turned over to their parents for their funerals, the lawsuit said. David Altimari, latimes.com, "Two Sandy Hook families sue Alex Jones and Infowars for saying the school massacre never happened," 18 Apr. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5


circa 1849, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for turnover

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for turnover

The first known use of turnover was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for turnover



English Language Learners Definition of turnover

: the amount of money that is received in sales by a store or company

: the rate at which people leave a place, company, etc., and are replaced by others

: the rate at which the goods in a store are sold and replaced by other goods


turn·​over | \ ˈtərn-ˌō-vər \

Kids Definition of turnover

: a filled pastry with one half of the crust turned over the other


turn·​over | \ ˈtər-ˌnō-vər \

Medical Definition of turnover

: the continuous process of loss and replacement of a constituent (as a neurotransmitter, cell, or tissue) of a living system protein turnover in various pathological states— J. C. Waterlow hyperthyroidism accelerates bone turnover and shortens the normal bone remodeling cycle— Richard Sadovsky

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More from Merriam-Webster on turnover

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turnover

Spanish Central: Translation of turnover

Nglish: Translation of turnover for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of turnover for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about turnover

Comments on turnover

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