turn·​over | \ ˈtərn-ˌō-vər How to pronounce turnover (audio) \

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

turned over; turning over; turns 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 Chargers lost 13-10 to the Detroit Lions on a Sunday stuffed with touchdown-robbing penalties, two turnovers at the goal line, multiple dropped passes and a pair of crushing wayward kicks. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Missed field goals, penalties and turnovers prove costly in Chargers’ loss to Lions," 15 Sep. 2019 Arians believes one of the best things the Bucs can do to help Winston cut down on turnovers and realize his potential as the No. Steve Reed, orlandosentinel.com, "Panther Gerald McCoy vows not to get overhyped for matchup with Bucs," 11 Sep. 2019 Still, the Colonels shouldn't pose a big threat to a Louisville team that went toe-to-toe with Notre Dame in the season opener before the Irish pulled away and took advantage of multiple Cardinals turnovers for the 35-17 win. Rana L. Cash, The Courier-Journal, "Follow Live: Louisville football vs. Eastern Kentucky score updates, highlights," 7 Sep. 2019 There’s been some cast turnover, but much of the 40th season’s ensemble will be the same for the 45th, which begins later this month. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Saturday Night Live," 7 Sep. 2019 Having joined the administration after the 2016 election, Westerhout was considered one of the few constants in a presidency marked by high staff turnover. Fortune, "Naomi Osaka Shows Us What True Mentorship Looks Like: The Broadsheet," 3 Sep. 2019 Past presidents have tried to avoid such wholesale turnover in their national security leaders. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "Trump’s Intel Vacancies Put Americans in Danger," 9 Aug. 2019 Between early 2017 and July, turnover remained high; more than 200 uniform fire employees left Fire-Rescue through retirement, resignation or termination, according to public records. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "Dallas' ambulance response times lag far behind national standard," 6 Aug. 2019 Katz said the district is making good progress on hiring staff, although the turnover is high among armed guardians, which are being lured by charter schools and law enforcement. Scott Travis, sun-sentinel.com, "Broward Schools detail the security upgrades since Parkland shooting," 11 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Facebook and Twitter were held in contempt and fined $1,000 by a San Francisco judge for refusing to turn over postings in a criminal trial. Maura Dolanstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "After that $5-billion fine, Facebook gets dinged again: $1,000 by judge overseeing murder trial," 26 July 2019 Iran has refused to turn over the people who now face charges, and denies any involvement. Washington Post, "Argentina honors terror attack victims on 25th anniversary," 18 July 2019 Russia tried to block Telegram in 2018 after the encrypted messaging service refused to turn over user data. Sara Harrison, WIRED, "Russia Targets Tinder as a Warning to Facebook and Twitter," 12 June 2019 Anthem officials accuse Cordani of sabotaging the deal by refusing to turn over crucial information that could have convinced government regulators of the deal’s value. Jef Feeley, Bloomberg.com, "Cigna’s CEO Expressed Regret About the Anthem Merger That Later Failed," 4 Mar. 2019 Unfortunately, the Department of Justice has refused to turn over the memos. Fox News, "Levin: Democrats and the judicial confirmation process," 24 Sep. 2018 Facebook turns over more than 16 million shares a day, on average. Ben Carlson, Fortune, "Yes, Passive Investing Has Exploded. But Here’s Why Fears of a Bubble are Overblown," 14 Sep. 2019 In particular, the timing of its next two turns over the coming days becomes crucial. Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Dorian starts inching north, closer to Florida, Georgia and Carolinas," 3 Sep. 2019 The optimism drained from the locker room, president Kevin Pritchard turned over a new leaf. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Victor Oladipo believes new-look Pacers 'definitely' will make playoffs," 17 Aug. 2019

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

22 Oct 2019

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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 How to pronounce turnover (audio) \

Kids Definition of turnover

: a filled pastry with one half of the crust turned over the other


turn·​over | \ ˈtər-ˌnō-vər How to pronounce turnover (audio) \

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

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