turn on

verb
turned on; turning on; turns on

Definition of turn on

transitive verb

1 : to activate or cause to flow, operate, or function by or as if by turning a control turn the water on full turn on the power
2a : to move pleasurably rock music turns her on also : to excite sexually
b : to cause to gain knowledge or appreciation of something specified turned her on to ballet
c : to cause to undergo an intense often visionary experience by taking a drug broadly : to cause to get high

intransitive verb

: to become turned on

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from turn on

turn-on \ ˈtərn-​ˌȯn How to pronounce turn-on (audio) , -​ˌän \ noun

Examples of turn on in a Sentence

unsurprisingly, the fanboys were turned on by the movie's amazing special effects and slam-bang plot would you turn on the TV?

Recent Examples on the Web

In the Neutrogena Light Therapy Mask, the red and blue lights turn on at the same time, creating what seems like a pinkish light from the outside. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "This Is the LED Mask Dermatologists Recommend for Acne-Prone Skin," 8 Jan. 2019 Darby got his turn on Thursday and Douglas was bumped up to the first unit on the outside. Jeff Mclane, Philly.com, "Eagles practice observations: The cornerback competition; What's up with Isaac Seumalo?; Mike Wallace shines," 7 June 2018 Another 50 prepared to camp outside a gate on the Mexican side of the border crossing with backpacks and blankets hoping to get their turn on Monday. Time, "Caravan of Central American Migrants Told U.S. Border Crossing Is at Capacity," 30 Apr. 2018 Another 50 prepared to camp outside a gate on the Mexican side of the border crossing with backpacks and blankets hoping to get their turn on Monday. William La Jeunesse, Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Caravan asylum-seekers heading toward showdown as US officials say border crossing is full," 30 Apr. 2018 They were introduced by singer and fellow activist Troye Sivan, who asked the audience to turn on their cell phone flashlights. Glamour, "The March for Our Lives Activists Turned Their Women of the Year Speech Into a Rallying Cry," 12 Nov. 2018 The lack of video was widely criticized, and Damond's family members were among the many people who called for changes in procedure, including how often officers are required to turn on their cameras. Fox News, "Officer who fatally shot Justine Damond charged with murder, turns himself in," 2 Oct. 2018 The urge to simply turn on my heels and take my money elsewhere was there, too. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Shopping While Black: Why I’m No Longer Afraid to Call Time on Racial Profiling," 29 Aug. 2018 James revealed his controversial move from Cleveland to the Miami Heat, which prompted scores of Cavaliers fans to turn on the native of nearby Akron, Ohio. Marc Stein, New York Times, "LeBron James Joining Lakers on 4-Year $154 Million Deal," 1 July 2018

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

1833, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about turn on

Statistics for turn on

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turn on

The first known use of turn on was in 1833

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on turn on

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turn on

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for turn on

Nglish: Translation of turn on for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of turn on for Arabic Speakers

Comments on turn on

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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