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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That makes for predictable and regular turnover on the bench and means that justices cannot extend their influence on the court thanks to longevity. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "Selecting a Supreme Court justice doesn’t have to be a battle royal. Here’s how other countries do it.," 10 July 2018 Ellenson finished with seven assists, six turnovers and two steals in 26 minutes. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Henry Ellenson breaks slump in Detroit Pistons summer league win 105-97," 9 July 2018 Research shows that companies deemed top workplaces attract more highly qualified job applicants and experience reduced employee turnover. baltimoresun.com, "Deadline extended for nominations for the Top Workplaces in the Baltimore region," 14 July 2018 While Louisville suffered serious turnover during the NFL draft season — losing Lamar Jackson, Jaire Alexander and Geron Christian as early entrants — its in-state rival enjoyed the opposite fate. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) beat Kentucky again," 13 July 2018 The defense will have to take a significant step forward and the offense will have to avoid turnovers in order for the Mean Green to make a run at Conference USA title. Iliana Limón Romero, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Talented North Texas is No. 46 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 12 July 2018 Understaffing leads predictably to higher turnover. Jordan Rau, sandiegouniontribune.com, "‘It’s almost like a ghost town.’ Most nursing homes overstated staffing for years," 11 July 2018 The stifling Pioneers defense yielded 16 turnovers in the first half, which was played with a 20-minute running clock. Jeff Tully, latimes.com, "LoVett, Providence defense hold Burbank at bay in summer girls' basketball," 11 July 2018 The Trail Blazers converted a flurry of Spurs turnovers to start the second half into a parade of easy baskets, turning what had been a tight game at intermission into a potential laugher. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Summer school in session for Spurs rookie Walker," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The last time North Korea turned over remains was in 2007, when Bill Richardson, a former U.N. ambassador and New Mexico governor, secured the return of six sets. Lolita C. Baldor, Fox News, "US prepares for return of war dead remains from North Korea," 19 June 2018 On Tuesday, a Barnstable County judge ordered the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office to hand over Zane’s personnel file for the judge to review for relevant documents, which would be turned over to Snell. Shawn Musgrave, BostonGlobe.com, "Legal battle over medical examiner’s track record," 14 July 2018 While some children have been turned over to family members, thousands are still in shelters and foster homes run by the government and nonprofit groups. Sarah Kinosian, Teen Vogue, "Reunification Proves Complicated for Families Separated at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 14 July 2018 Burns agreed to look over the redactions to determine which, if any, of the redacted documents should be turned over to defense counsel with some or all of the redactions removed. Steve Vockrodt And Lauren Fox, kansascity, "Schlitterbahn to tear down Verruckt water slide in KCK where young boy died in 2016," 12 July 2018 Another part of the deal had McDonald’s paying about $2 million to purchase the Dean Nature Sanctuary, which was then turned over to the park district. Chuck Fieldman, chicagotribune.com, "Oak Brook Park Board to consider referendum for purchase of McDonald's property," 10 July 2018 The University of Kansas acknowledged it has been subpoenaed in connection with the FBI's investigation into college basketball recruiting but refused to turn over the copies of documents, citing federal privacy laws. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "Report: Kansas has been subpoenaed in the FBI basketball investigation," 10 July 2018 Nearly two weeks into July, La Salle will likely try to find a replacement as soon as possible to have someone in place when the new academic calendar turns over at the end of the month. Adam Baum, Cincinnati.com, "La Salle athletic director Keith Pantling leaves for same position at Little Miami," 9 July 2018 But because the interview was turned over to Mr. Bederow after prosecutors asked the Court of Appeals to take the case (in what is called a leave application) the high court will most likely not be able to consider the discrepancy. Alan Feuer, New York Times, "New York’s Highest Court to Consider 2003 Brooklyn Murder Case," 5 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about turnover

Statistics for turnover

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turnover

The first known use of turnover was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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!


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!