turn on

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

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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 That'll probably turn on Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia, with open seats in two and an instant replay in Georgia. John Brummett, Arkansas Online, "Between hope and reality," 2 May 2021 These tales turn on such questions, as though Silber were holding a coin in the light, testing the mettle of each grasping, grateful, generous soul. Washington Post, "Want to know the ‘Secrets of Happiness’? The characters in Joan Silber’s new novel are looking, too.," 26 Apr. 2021 The primary race, however, could turn on loyalty to Trump, even though no Republican candidate has aligned with him 100% of the time. Alex Rogers, CNN, "Trump's effort to overturn loss becomes 2022 GOP litmus test in key Senate races," 26 Apr. 2021 Entertainment operations can’t necessarily turn on a dime. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Big demand arrives on first day of wide-open vaccine access in San Diego," 15 Apr. 2021 California’s children can still turn on the TV or take a drive with Dad and see plenty of ads touting the joys of consuming alcohol. Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle, "No marijuana billboards allowed? California is making it hard on legal weed," 4 Apr. 2021 Similarly, the way in which jurors evaluate these tragic police shootings should never turn on the color of a victim’s hair or skin. Joey Jackson, CNN, "Mohamed Noor’s sentence raises uncomfortable questions about race," 20 Apr. 2021 If your eyes need a break, turn on the audio feature and the e-Edition will read the stories out loud for you. Katrice Hardy, The Indianapolis Star, "Sunday IndyStar just got better with more local news," 16 Apr. 2021 If your eyes need a break, turn on the audio feature and the e-Edition will read the stories out loud for you. Cincinnati Enquirer Staff, The Enquirer, "Sunday just got better with more local news," 16 Apr. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of turn on

1833, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for turn on

Time Traveler

The first known use of turn on was in 1833

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Statistics for turn on

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Turn on.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turn%20on. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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