turn·about | \ˈtərn-ə-ˌbau̇t \

Definition of turnabout 

1a : a change or reversal of direction, trend, policy, role, or character

b : a changing from one allegiance to another

c : turncoat, renegade

d : an act or instance of retaliating turnabout is fair play

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of turnabout in a Sentence

employees regarded the latest turnabout as a sure sign that management hadn't a clue as to what it was doing

Recent Examples on the Web

The turnabout for small cars reflects more people are willing to buy smaller cars as their basic transportation. David Pan, USA TODAY, "Used car prices hit a 13-year high as more late-model cars come off lease," 15 June 2018 And the turnabout should give pause to anyone evaluating Zuckerberg’s new statements. Owen Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, "Remember the last time Mark Zuckerberg asked us to trust him?," 21 Mar. 2018 In a turnabout, the State Council, China’s cabinet, stopped hectoring city halls and townships to restrain spending and instead last week launched an inspection to urge them to speed up already approved investment projects to re-energize growth. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "China’s Effort to Control Debt Loses Steam," 12 July 2018 Since people who regard themselves as masculine have spent centuries diagnosing other people’s identities, this turnabout might be considered fair play. Crispin Sartwell, WSJ, "Conversion Therapy Isn’t the Cure for ‘Toxic Masculinity’," 1 June 2018 His right-wing turnabout could torpedo a forthcoming album and affect future tour sales and fashion revenues, which depend on the goodwill of young, taste-making audiences. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "Essential California: A political odd couple," 10 May 2018 Palmer's move affecting short-term rentals in most residential areas would be a dramatic turnabout from regulations that took effect in April 2017 under Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Kevin Litten, NOLA.com, "New Orleans Council proposal would halt some short-term rentals, including some licensed," 21 May 2018 Democrats contend that since Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stole the nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016, turnabout is fair play. Fox News, "John Bolton previews the Trump-Putin summit; Leonard Leo on frontrunners to replace Justice Kennedy," 1 July 2018 But just before leaving office in January, Mr. Christie signed the 2017 version of the bill without explaining his turnabout. Patrick Mcgeehan, New York Times, "Judge Blocks New Jersey From Backing Out of Waterfront Commission," 4 June 2018

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

1789, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about turnabout

Phrases Related to turnabout

turnabout is fair play

Statistics for turnabout

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turnabout

The first known use of turnabout was in 1789

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for turnabout


turn·about | \ˈtərn-ə-ˌbau̇t \

Kids Definition of turnabout

: a change from one direction or one way of thinking or acting to the opposite In a complete turnabout, he admitted that he had lied.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on turnabout

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


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!