turn·​over | \ ˈtərn-ˌō-vər How to pronounce turnover (audio) \

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

turned over; turning over; turns 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

Snap has had a lot of turnover in its hardware unit since Spectacles were first unveiled in late 2016. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Snap has a new Spectacles boss, its third in the past six months," 18 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, the team that works on Autopilot has experienced plenty of turnover at the top. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Elon Musk reportedly asks Tesla employees to test full self-driving version of Autopilot," 28 Sep. 2018 The school system had been plagued by rapid turnover among previous superintendents. Michael Dresser, baltimoresun.com, "Ben Jealous attacks Rushern Baker over Prince George's County school system pay raises," 22 June 2018 No single explanation accounts for the high level of turnover among the QBs at the top of the recruiting rankings. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "The Future of College Football's Five-Star QBs Turned Transfers," 24 May 2018 Problems have included technical failures, phone line blackouts and high turnover among employees and managers. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "'Kyle should still be here today.' Cincinnati council asks questions about 911 center.," 17 Apr. 2018 The Pentagon within the coming months is expected to undergo its most dramatic period of turnover at top military levels under the Trump administration, during which top civilian leaders aren’t serving in a permanent capacity. Gordon Lubold, WSJ, "Military Faces High Turnover of Top Brass," 12 Apr. 2019 Mark CuthbertGetty Images There's been a lot of turnover lately. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Is Sara Latham, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's New PR Guru?," 15 Mar. 2019 Huerter, who started in the first scrimmage, finished with nine points in a 73-64 loss on 3-for-9 shooting (2-for-7 on 3-pointers), two rebounds, two assists and one turnover. Don Markus, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland players Huerter, Fernando test well at NBA scouting combine," 18 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

By giving them protections under the law, by investing, by turning over the internet itself to these commercial interests. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Senator Ron Wyden on Recode Decode," 22 Aug. 2018 When Yacabonis turned over the ball to Wright in the sixth, the Yankees were still up by two runs, of course. Katherine Fominykh, baltimoresun.com, "Three months after disastrous debut, Orioles' Jimmy Yacabonis gets a do-over vs. Yankees," 10 July 2018 But this changed in 1974 when lawmakers turned over that responsibility to judges. Bill Rankin, ajc, "Georgia juries are left in the dark when it comes to punishment," 8 June 2018 House Democrats have set an April 23 deadline for the IRS to turn over Mr. Trump’s tax returns. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "Bernie Sanders Releases Tax Returns," 15 Apr. 2019 The hearing isn’t a criminal proceeding, and the board chairman said any allegation of criminal activity would be turned over to the district attorney’s office. Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, "North Carolina Board Calls for New Election in Last Undecided House Race," 21 Feb. 2019 Body camera video and other available video was immediately turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department as part of the investigation. German Lopez, Vox, "After a mall shooting, police killed the wrong person — and the real shooter remains at large," 26 Nov. 2018 The same day, Henry County District Attorney Darius Pattillo said no felony charges would be brought against Marrow and that the misdemeanor charges would be turned over to the county solicitor general for review. Kate Brumback, Fox News, "Lawyers: Officials conspired to hide info about arrest," 27 Aug. 2018 As a result, more than 2,300 children were turned over to HHS. Martha Mendoza And Larry Fenn, Detroit Free Press, "Detaining immigrant kids is now a billion-dollar industry, research shows," 12 July 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

21 May 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 How to pronounce turnover (audio) \

Kids Definition of turnover

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


turn·​over | \ ˈtər-ˌnō-vər How to pronounce turnover (audio) \

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

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


a strong desire or propensity

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