up·​turn | \ ˈəp-ˌtərn How to pronounce upturn (audio) , ˌəp-ˈtərn\
upturned; upturning; upturns

Definition of upturn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to turn up or over
2 : to direct upward

intransitive verb

: to turn upward


up·​turn | \ ˈəp-ˌtərn How to pronounce upturn (audio) \

Definition of upturn (Entry 2 of 2)

: an upward turn especially toward better conditions or higher prices

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Synonyms & Antonyms for upturn

Synonyms: Verb

arise, ascend, aspire, climb, lift, mount, rise, soar, thrust, up, uprear, uprise, upthrust

Antonyms: Verb

decline, descend, dip, drop, fall (off), plunge

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Examples of upturn in a Sentence


at this point the road upturns steeply, the trees become scarcer, and the valley unfolds before you

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On one occasion, Licitra recalls, the architect casually upturned a bowl of grated Parmesan on Licitra’s head. Alice Cavanagh, WSJ, "Explore the Genius of Italian Architect Gio Ponti," 18 Aug. 2018 Favorites were held or humbled, outsiders came from nowhere to upturn the form guide, late winners broke hearts and provided fresh hope and the landscape of many groups tilted entirely from what was expected. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "2018 FIFA World Cup power rankings: Updates after every match," 19 June 2018 Number 520 holds sugar; 375 and 2,213 are upturned on the dish-rack, drying; and 2,831 is half-filled with coffee and rimmed in lipstick. Alex Ronan, Vogue, "Meet the Berlin Artist Making a Million Porcelain Dishes Before She Dies," 1 July 2018 Serve It Proudly Before your friends come over, put your masterpiece on display and upturn the bottle of vodka into it. Paula Forbes, GQ, "How to Actually Pull Off a Vodka Watermelon," 20 June 2018 While putting the cocktail together, Sanchez upturns the serving glass over a piece of smoldering wood to capture a bit more smoke. Maggie Hoffman, SFChronicle.com, "Meet School Night, Dogpatch’s weeknight-only bar," 13 June 2018 John Irving’s The Cider House Rules was the novel that upturned my belief system and probably altered the whole course of my life. Graham Linehan, Time, "What My Wife’s Abortion Taught Me About Why Men Should Stand With Women in the Ireland Referendum," 25 May 2018 What happened in Santa Fe was just the latest in a seemingly endless string of shootings at schools, churches and movie theaters — places where Americans’ routines have been upturned with sudden gunfire and tragedy. Marwa Eltagouri, Washington Post, "A Santa Fe shooting survivor’s reaction has shaken people around the country," 18 May 2018 That all changed Thursday, May 3, when Woerishofer-Breitwish and her family had their lives upturned when they were forced to evacuate their home because of lava flowing from volcano eruptions in Pahoa. Tyler Langan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hawaii family with Wisconsin roots fears their home may be destroyed by lava from the Kilauea volcano," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Republic of Ireland international McClean was also relegated from the Premier League, finishing bottom of the league table with West Brom despite a late upturn in form by the team. SI.com, "Gary Rowett Reportedly Targeting West Brom's James McClean as His 1st Signing as Stoke City Manager," 28 May 2018 That is the highest level since last March and marks a significant upturn in new-home sales after being largely flat throughout 2018. ... Sharon Nunn, WSJ, "Sales of New Homes Surge After Stagnating for Months," 29 Mar. 2019 The only European leader not to squander the tailwinds of the global upturn is French President Emmanuel Macron, who pushed through a transformative labor-law overhaul in 2017. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Europe’s Boom That Wasn’t," 8 Jan. 2019 Defenders Who's Hot Shkodran Mustafi - The German has put in a series of impressive performances, coinciding with Arsenal's recent upturn in form, and scored against Watford back in March. SI.com, "Premier League Fantasy Football: Who's Hot and Who's Not in Gameweek 33," 6 Apr. 2018 Europe’s economic upturn has sputtered in recent months. Marcus Walker, WSJ, "EU Countries Face a Menu of Challenges," 20 Jan. 2019 In his remarks, Mr. Clarida highlighted reasons why stronger economic growth might not lead to an inflation upturn that some colleagues have indicated could require more aggressive rate increases. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Fed Vice Chairman: Strong Growth Supports Case for Continued Rate Rises," 25 Oct. 2018 Pent up demand for infrastructure improvements might also keep the upturn going into 2019. Sarah Chaney And Heather Gillers, WSJ, "State and Local Investment Gets Lift From Rising Revenues," 15 Dec. 2018 Hughes was handed the reins at St. Mary's in March with the club struggling in the relegation dogfight, but an upturn in form in recent weeks has seen them steer narrowly clear of the drop. SI.com, "Mark Hughes 'Not Sure' Over Southampton Future After Final Day 1-0 Manchester City Loss," 14 May 2018

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


1567, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1864, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near upturn






up until


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Time Traveler for upturn

The first known use of upturn was in 1567

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More Definitions for upturn



English Language Learners Definition of upturn

: an increase or improvement


up·​turn | \ ˈəp-ˌtərn How to pronounce upturn (audio) , ˌəp-ˈtərn\
upturned; upturning

Kids Definition of upturn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to turn upward or up or over


up·​turn | \ ˈəp-ˌtərn How to pronounce upturn (audio) \

Kids Definition of upturn (Entry 2 of 2)

: an upward turning (as toward better conditions)

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More from Merriam-Webster on upturn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upturn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upturn

Spanish Central: Translation of upturn

Nglish: Translation of upturn for Spanish Speakers

Comments on upturn

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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