up·​turn | \ ˈəp-ˌtərn, 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 \

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

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 Hazard's recent upturn in form has coincided with a resurgence in the Blues ailing fortunes, with the former Lille superstar registering four wins in his last five appearances for the club. SI.com, "Fans Vote Eden Hazard Man of the Match in Crunch Victory Over Liverpool," 7 May 2018 While corporate debt risks have risen in some emerging markets, Mr. Powell said the rise has been relatively limited outside of China and has begun to reverse due to a global-growth upturn. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed’s Powell Warns Against Overstating Influence of U.S. Monetary Policy on Global Financial Conditions," 8 May 2018 The minutes did reveal one potential source of caution: concern that trade policy could hold back business investment and weaken economic growth relative to officials’ forecasts for a sustained upturn this year and next. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed Expects to Keep Raising Rates, Ending Years of Stimulus," 5 July 2018 With the oil and gas sector in an upturn, our goals are about capturing growth and being the number one provider for our customers and employer-of-choice for our employees. Ilene Bassler, Houston Chronicle, "Q&A: Strict immigration policies ripple through talent pool," 12 July 2018 Videos of England supporters celebrating in the streets have become the summer's hottest viral trend, with fans from up and down the country keen to show their approval of the Three Lions' upturn in fortunes this year. SI.com, "England Fans Descend on IKEA Store After England Knock Sweden Out of World Cup," 8 July 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


Statistics for upturn

Last Updated

17 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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, ˌəp-ˈtərn\
upturned; upturning

Kids Definition of upturn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to turn upward or up or over


up·​turn | \ ˈəp-ˌtərn \

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 gather or build up little by little

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