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

The last several years have been defined by store closings, the high-profile failure of the Nook e-reader, falling revenues, layoffs, turnover, malaise. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Barnes & Noble Too Big to Fail?," 6 July 2018 The Phoenix defense was able to force turnovers and convert them into breakaway opportunities against Tulsa last weekend and that could be the recipe for success on the road as well. Atreya Verma, azcentral, "Phoenix Rising FC seek continued success on the road," 22 June 2018 His size, length and quick hands help him see over the defense as a passer and make plays on the ball defensively and force turnovers. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "2018 NBA Draft: Final Top 100 Prospect Rankings," 18 June 2018 But somehow, the Seahawks scored 38 points, forcing eight turnovers and returning a punt for a touchdown in beating a Raider team that would go on to win the Super Bowl by a final of 38-36. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Top five moments from Chuck Knox’s Seahawks tenure," 13 May 2018 The game was tied at 14 going into the fourth quarter when Lake Nona took the lead on a field goal four seconds into the quarter, added a touchdown and forced three turnovers on defense. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Lake Nona QB Kern directs Lions to spring football win," 11 May 2018 Randall recorded 50 groundballs and forced 13 turnovers, starting all 21 games in the season. Jonathan Richardson, Cincinnati.com, "Mason, OSU lacrosse All-American Ben Randall goes 14th in Major League Lacrosse draft," 10 May 2018 The Heat lost Game 4 106-102 on Saturday despite forcing 27 turnovers and getting 25 points from Dwyane Wade. Jordan Mcpherson, Manny Navarro And Andre Fernandez, miamiherald, "Live updates: Miami Heat fights to keep NBA Playoff hopes alive against 76ers | Miami Herald," 24 Apr. 2018 Just like last year's Game 3, the Bucks dominated defensively from the beginning, holding the Celtics to 2-of-18 shooting and forcing nine turnovers in the first quarter alone. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 116, Celtics 92: Plenty of help in Game 3," 20 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The messages were immediately reported to Capitol Police and then turned over to the FBI in July, the campaign said. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Accused Mail Bomber’s Laptop Contained Searches for Targets’ Addresses, Prosecutors Say," 31 Oct. 2018 Authorities said all the immigrants were evaluated medically and determined to be in good health before they were processed and turned over to the enforcement removal operations within Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "128 illegal immigrants found abandoned in Arizona, Border Patrol says," 2 Oct. 2018 The hearing comes as the House is preparing to vote on a resolution that demands the department turn over thousands of documents by July 6. Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, BostonGlobe.com, "Rosenstein, Wray face angry House Republicans in hearing," 28 June 2018 If nothing else, Mr. Trump’s apparent willingness to turn over the table has gotten the attention of Western allies, creating a sense of urgency to meet the spending goals, and not everyone drew back in alarm. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "Amid the Trumpian Chaos, Europe Sees a Strategy: Divide and Conquer," 13 July 2018 In 2013, Lavabit, a privacy-focused email service favored by Snowden, shut down entirely rather than comply with an order to turn over its cryptographic keys to the U.S. government. Jacob Silverman, Longreads, "Private Telegram, Public Strife," 3 July 2018 House Republicans also are pushing for a resolution that would set a July 6 deadline for the Justice Department to turn over confidential records on the FBI’s use of secret surveillance during the campaign. Chris Megerian, latimes.com, "Rosenstein and FBI chief will testify today in the House on alleged FBI bias in Russia probe," 28 June 2018 Got called up to Andy's earlier...hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner's atty to sdny, includes a ton of material from spouse. Laura Jarrett, CNN, "Key dates in the FBI probe of Hillary Clinton's emails," 14 June 2018 The issue at the center of the campaign was an immigration program known as 287(g), in which local law enforcement agencies partner with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) to turn over undocumented immigrants arrested on unrelated crimes. NBC News, "North Carolina voters dump Democratic sheriff who backed ICE deportation program," 13 May 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

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on turnover

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a private place of worship

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