turn·​stile | \ ˈtərn-ˌstī(-ə)l How to pronounce turnstile (audio) \

Definition of turnstile

: a post with arms pivoted on the top set in a passageway so that persons can pass through only on foot one by one

Examples of turnstile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Evidence presented in court showed Duckenfield ordered the opening of exit gates at the Leppings Lane end of the Hillsborough ground eight minutes before the game kicked off, after the area outside the turnstiles became dangerously overcrowded. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "UK jury clears former police officer in 1989 Hillsborough soccer stadium disaster," 29 Nov. 2019 In recent weeks, protests that started with students jumping over subway turnstiles to protest the transit hike have morphed into a broader movement joined by left-leaning parties and unionists. Rachelle Krygier, Washington Post, "Chile to hold referendum on new constitution," 15 Nov. 2019 Activists argue this incident, along with others where turnstile hoppers were attacked and pointed at with guns on the subway, show how low-income people and people of color are being disproportionately targeted by these systems. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "He ate a sandwich. She sold churros. After both were detained, people are protesting," 13 Nov. 2019 Beyond the turnstiles were nine gray metal detectors, reserved for exiting employees, and a multicolored balloon arch. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "What an Amazon Fulfillment Center Tour Reveals," 4 Nov. 2019 The protest by students began on Monday when hundreds of young people mobbed several metro stations in Santiago, jumping over or dipping under turnstiles in a fare-dodging protest against the 4% increase in fares. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Chile’s president rolls back subway fare hike amid protests," 19 Oct. 2019 Anyone watching the two parts ripped asunder at an Ebbets Field turnstile would have experienced a special kind of separation anxiety. Steve Rushin, SI.com, "The Death of Paper Tickets and the Stories They Leave Behind," 12 Sep. 2019 The Beavers yielded 352 yards rushing to Oklahoma State, looking like the same turnstile unit that finished 129th in major college football last season. Jon Wilner, The Denver Post, "Pac-12 football rewind: Oregon buckles in the fourth, USC tries to lose but fails, Washington rolls and injuries mount," 1 Sep. 2019 After our bus journeyed back to the Exclusion Zone exit checkpoints, we were tested for radioactive dust on devices that looked like subway turnstiles. Dallas News, "Decades after nuclear disaster, tourism is booming at Chernobyl," 18 June 2019

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

1643, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for turnstile

Time Traveler

The first known use of turnstile was in 1643

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Statistics for turnstile

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Turnstile.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turnstile. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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More Definitions for turnstile


How to pronounce turnstile (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of turnstile

: a gate at an entrance that has arms which turn around and that allows only one person at a time to pass through


turn·​stile | \ ˈtərn-ˌstīl How to pronounce turnstile (audio) \

Kids Definition of turnstile

: a post having arms that turn around which is set at an entrance or exit so that people can pass through only on foot one by one

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More from Merriam-Webster on turnstile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turnstile

Spanish Central: Translation of turnstile

Nglish: Translation of turnstile for Spanish Speakers

Comments on turnstile

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


to constrict the range or activity of

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