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

Shamar Garrett rushed for 181 yards and James Coby scored two touchdowns, but De La Salle could not overcome costly turnovers and penalties in a season-opening 24-14 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas-Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Chace Bryson, SFChronicle.com, "Turnovers costly for De La Salle in loss to Florida team," 24 Aug. 2019 Last year, Glendale was humbled in its season-opener, 42-0, at Pasadena Maranatha in what was Harris’ debut and a game marred by turnovers and mistakes. Andrew J. Campa, Glendale News-Press, "Defense leads Glendale High to season-opening victory," 23 Aug. 2019 The Mustangs overcame six turnovers and a 12-point deficit in 2018 to win 25-22 and even the series record at 4-4. J.c. Carnahan, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando area high school football predictions for Week 1," 22 Aug. 2019 Dantas is the third post player in franchise history to have at least eight assists and zero turnovers in a game. Mike Cook, Twin Cities, "Collier, Lynx stop slide by beating Dallas 86-70," 22 Aug. 2019 Despite the natural turnover and division of playing time that occurs with a low-minors affiliate, the Shorebirds have thrived. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles’ prospects guiding Shorebirds’ ‘record-breaking year’ savor major league treatment for a day," 20 Aug. 2019 While conventional wisdom suggests student housing has high turnover and operational costs, investors saw an ability to standardize operations and construction and take advantage of a kind of captive market in the predictable influx of students. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Back on campus, students confront a challenging housing market," 20 Aug. 2019 Kruger said the change in the salary step structure was necessary to successfully recruit officers and eliminate the significant cost of turnover and retraining. Chuck Fieldman, chicagotribune.com, "Oak Brook creates faster climb to top of pay scale for police officers," 20 Aug. 2019 But while Venn’s rents may be lower, critics say the units are too small for most families, promote high turnover and are too expensive for longtime residents. Stefanos Chen, New York Times, "A Gentler Way to Gentrify?," 16 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The couple will then be turned over to Tucson police for booking into Pima County jail in connection with the homicide. Chris Boyette, CNN, "Fugitive couple facing murder charges are in custody after a tip," 12 Sep. 2019 The drugs were turned over to a task force run by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Border Patrol finds hidden meth in pickup on I-15 near Temecula," 10 Sep. 2019 Hill was taken to Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville, and his care for the unusual injury — which can affect blood vessels and/or the windpipe — was turned over to an ortho-trauma physician. BostonGlobe.com, "Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles among those sidelined in Week 1," 8 Sep. 2019 His care was turned over to an ortho-trauma physician. Mark Long, The Denver Post, "Chiefs lose Tyreek Hill, but handle Jaguars as Nick Foles breaks clavicle," 8 Sep. 2019 She was later turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation and the baby was given to government welfare personnel. chicagotribune.com, "Ohio woman arrested at Manila airport, charged with human trafficking after trying to sneak baby out in a bag, officials say," 5 Sep. 2019 The case has been turned over to MCSO who will be handling the investigation. al, "Suspected pipe bomb found at south Alabama grocery store parking lot," 3 Sep. 2019 Then the jackets were turned over and their undersides fully plastered. Hans-dieter Sues, Smithsonian, "How to Discover Dinosaurs," 3 Sep. 2019 The same materials have been turned over to a team of private investigators hired by the state House of Representatives to determine whether Shea has promoted political violence. Chad Sokol, The Seattle Times, "Leaked emails show Washington state Rep. Matt Shea endorsed training children to fight in holy war," 15 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

27 Aug 2019

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 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

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 spread over or through

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