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 growing disarray surrounding the U.K.’s exit from Europe is hobbling the prime property market in central London and slowing turnover as home buyers wrestle with continuing political uncertainty. Avantika Chilkoti, WSJ, "Upscale London Home Sales Hit New Low During Brexit Disarray," 5 Feb. 2019 November contained a flurry of Fortnite activity, starting with the first substantial map change not tied to a seasonal turnover. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The year in Fortnite," 18 Dec. 2018 And then there’s the intra-White House turnover that has given him two press secretaries (Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders) and five White House communications directors (Spicer, Mike Dubke, Anthony Scaramucci, Hope Hicks, and Bill Shine). Dara Lind, Vox, "There is always a Trump tweet, chiefs of staff edition," 8 Dec. 2018 Customers are wise to the relentlessly quick turnover on the high street. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Meet a Former Avenue 32 Buyer Who Now Only Sells the Labels She Really Loves at Her E-Boutique, Joan," 19 Nov. 2018 As many as 50 percent of all teachers leave the profession within the first five years, said Richard Ingersoll, a professor of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and expert in teacher turnover. Philly.com, "A former drug dealer made good and became a Philly teacher. So why is he thinking of leaving the profession?," 11 July 2018 However, its performance—and low-cost model—has been questioned more recently amid high turnover among senior executives, volatile sales growth and narrowing margins. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Owner of Durex Condoms Is Looking for a New CEO," 16 Jan. 2019 Musk's abrasive management style and his refusal to listen to subordinates' concerns has likely contributed to high turnover among senior Tesla managers. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla is outgrowing Elon Musk," 29 Sep. 2018 And the relatively low wage ceiling for some positions can lead to high employee turnover, especially as the unemployment rate continues to fall. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's rebound brings surge in downtown security jobs," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The report follows news in early November that a New Hampshire judge ordered Amazon to turn over a full two days' worth of Echo device recordings. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "A hot PlayStation mic captures sounds of apparent rape, leads to arrest," 27 Nov. 2018 As a condition of his release, he was required to turn over all his firearms. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Court proceedings continue for former hall monitor charged with carrying gun on school property," 11 July 2018 Imagine this: In July 1974, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the president of the United States had to turn over evidence in a criminal proceeding, a decision that led, less than a month later, to that president’s resignation. Dan Rodricks, baltimoresun.com, "Is Kavanaugh Trump's 'Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card'?," 10 July 2018 In 1974, the court ruled that President Richard Nixon had to turn over audio tapes and other evidence to a special counsel in the Watergate investigation. Erin Kelly, USA TODAY, "Democrats worry about how a new Supreme Court justice would affect Russia investigation," 10 July 2018 The pits are to be turned over to the Alameda Red Cross and will be sold by it to the federal government. Johnny Miller, SFChronicle.com, "Wayback Machine: 101 California Street shooting kills eight in 1993," 5 July 2018 The attorney for Pettway said DuPage County prosecutors should be compelled to turn over the cellphone video. Clifford Ward, Wheaton Glen Ellyn, "Video could be key in Wheaton College football hazing case, attorney says. But does it exist?," 26 June 2018 Outside leadership changes, the utility has also struggled to turn over critical data to its independent auditor, such as accounts receivables from water bills. Beau Evans, NOLA.com, "Sewerage & Water Board poised to seek risky audit extension," 5 June 2018 Place the packets onto the grill, close the lid, and cook 15-20 minutes (or until the vegetables are tender crisp and the chicken is completely cooked through), turning over once halfway through cooking. Maya Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "Thrown on a grill or campfire, pineapple teriyaki chicken in foil packs are a snap," 1 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.

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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

12 Feb 2019

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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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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excited commotion or publicity

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