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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Phoenix had 12 first-half turnovers against the Kings and five of those came on entry passes, leading some to believe that Suns guards Shaq Harrison and Davon Reed were doing a poor job of getting Ayton the ball. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "NBA Summer League is ideal learning ground for Suns rookie Deandre Ayton," 7 July 2018 Replacing multiple salaries with the one-time cost of a robot is an enticing business strategy, especially in an industry with a high turnover rate. Lauren Smiley, WIRED, "The Mission to Build the Ultimate Burger Bot," 21 June 2018 Growing and maintaining an agency that size is hard to do in an industry with a consistently high agent turnover rate and stiff competition from other agencies. Randy Tucker, Cincinnati.com, "Top Workplaces Cincinnati winner: Huff Realty succeeds by focusing on five core values," 7 June 2018 The Warriors, running, moving and sometimes gambling, had only seven turnovers. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Ringmaster Stephen Curry is back, and the Warriors’ circus is on," 1 June 2018 The Celtics were near-perfect at the foul line, and had just eight turnovers to the Cavs’ 15. Jeremy Woo, SI.com, "Game 5 Loss Exposes Cavs' Lack of Offensive Creativity," 23 May 2018 The Aces had 18 turnovers with just eight assists and shot 26.5 percent (16-for-68). William S. Paxton, courant.com, "Connecticut Sun Start Season Off With A Bang — A 101-65 Rout Of Aces," 21 May 2018 But police said the demands of the role of a counterterrorist specialist firearms officer has led to a high turnover rate. James Masters, CNN, "Britain considers arming police officers in rural areas," 17 May 2018 Annual turnover rates within firms hover around 90%. The Economist, "An all-American industry changes the all-American way," 3 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On Tuesday, a Barnstable County judge ordered the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office to hand over Zane’s personnel file for the judge to review for relevant documents, which would be turned over to Snell. Shawn Musgrave, BostonGlobe.com, "Legal battle over medical examiner’s track record," 14 July 2018 While some children have been turned over to family members, thousands are still in shelters and foster homes run by the government and nonprofit groups. Sarah Kinosian, Teen Vogue, "Reunification Proves Complicated for Families Separated at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 14 July 2018 Burns agreed to look over the redactions to determine which, if any, of the redacted documents should be turned over to defense counsel with some or all of the redactions removed. Steve Vockrodt And Lauren Fox, kansascity, "Schlitterbahn to tear down Verruckt water slide in KCK where young boy died in 2016," 12 July 2018 Another part of the deal had McDonald’s paying about $2 million to purchase the Dean Nature Sanctuary, which was then turned over to the park district. Chuck Fieldman, chicagotribune.com, "Oak Brook Park Board to consider referendum for purchase of McDonald's property," 10 July 2018 The University of Kansas acknowledged it has been subpoenaed in connection with the FBI's investigation into college basketball recruiting but refused to turn over the copies of documents, citing federal privacy laws. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "Report: Kansas has been subpoenaed in the FBI basketball investigation," 10 July 2018 Nearly two weeks into July, La Salle will likely try to find a replacement as soon as possible to have someone in place when the new academic calendar turns over at the end of the month. Adam Baum, Cincinnati.com, "La Salle athletic director Keith Pantling leaves for same position at Little Miami," 9 July 2018 But because the interview was turned over to Mr. Bederow after prosecutors asked the Court of Appeals to take the case (in what is called a leave application) the high court will most likely not be able to consider the discrepancy. Alan Feuer, New York Times, "New York’s Highest Court to Consider 2003 Brooklyn Murder Case," 5 July 2018 Even the stain of Euro 2016 has been somewhat washed away, as more than half the roster has turned over. Brian Straus, SI.com, "England's New Three Lions Appear to Be a Different Animal at This World Cup," 24 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about turnover

Statistics for turnover

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turnover

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on turnover

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


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

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

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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