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

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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

The big problem with restaurants is turnover because everybody in New York is an actor or an actress. Fox News, "Media coverage of Mollie Tibbetts' murder," 23 Aug. 2018 There has been frequent turnover of top editors, and a recent effort to update the magazine’s chart rules drew vigorous lobbying by both the major record labels and the streaming services. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "Top Executive Leaves Billboard Amid Examination of Coverage," 11 July 2018 Exacerbating the problem was turnover on the staff. Bortles’ first coordinator, Jedd Fisch, was fired after his rookie year. Albert Breer, SI.com, "How a Soldier’s Story Helped Dan Quinn Build the Falcons," 2 July 2018 Paired with this, the analysis found there was higher turnover in districts with high poverty rates. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Teacher shortages are especially acute in rural areas. Here’s one solution in Colorado.," 18 May 2018 Peterson hasn’t missed a game since entering the NFL in 2011, but there has been consistent turnover at the other starting corner position. Kent Somers, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals' big questions loom as minicamps and OTAs continue," 9 May 2018 And Timberlake's stumble prompted an e-mail from a reader asking if there was a turnover in pop's core artists. Sean Ross, Billboard, "As Veteran Pop Acts Like Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry Struggle on the Radio Charts, Some Thoughts," 12 Apr. 2018 After committing 19 turnovers in last week’s exhibition win over Division II Seattle Pacific, Washington had just eight on Tuesday. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Three takeaways from Washington’s 73-55 season-opening win over Western Kentucky," 7 Nov. 2018 Young managed just 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting to go along with eight assists and five turnovers. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Collin Sexton, Alabama’s ‘Young Bull,’ could tempt Magic at No. 6," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

He was cited for driving under suspension and turned over to Garfield Heights police on an active warrant. Andy Attina / Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Man asks for marijuana back after being cited for possession: Mayfield Heights Police Blotter," 9 May 2018 That would be followed by a round of five-minute questioning periods for each senator, who could turn over questioning to other counsel. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Rachel Mitchell, prosecutor experienced in sex-crimes cases, to question Kavanaugh and Ford, Grassley announces," 27 Sep. 2018 The Hays Street Bridge case is more complicated, but the dispute is rooted in the city — under Sculley’s leadership — turning over the Cherry Street property to Eugene Simor, the founder of Alamo Beer Co., in 2012. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Court cases demonstrate Sculley’s disregard for process," 11 July 2018 After high-level diplomatic talks with North Korea took a contentious turn over the weekend, the Trump Administration remained optimistic that the isolated nation will disarm its growing nuclear arsenal. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "The Trump-Kim Summit Was a Month Ago. Little Has Changed So Far.," 9 July 2018 Weeks before the new doses showed up on the state's logs, a group of prisoners in Arkansas asked Texas to turn over the name of its lethal injection supplier, in the hope of convincing their own state to switch to the drug the Lone Star State uses. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "With 7 execution dates on the calendar, Texas just got more lethal injection drugs," 6 July 2018 Pitts shot videos of potential targets such as a federal building and US Coast Guard station, then turned over the phone last week, believing the photos and videos would be given to Al Qaeda members, the document said. John Seewer, BostonGlobe.com, "Man allegedly scouted location for July 4 attack in Cleveland," 3 July 2018 Wheeler could not lay down a bunt, and his strikeout turned over the lineup. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Cody Bellinger's grand slam is the big blow in Dodgers' win at New York," 23 June 2018 The messages were immediately reported to Capitol Police and then turned over to the FBI in July, the campaign said. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "Accused Mail Bomber’s Laptop Contained Searches for Targets’ Addresses, Prosecutors Say," 31 Oct. 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

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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

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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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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