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

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of upturn in a Sentence

Verb at this point the road upturns steeply, the trees become scarcer, and the valley unfolds before you
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Following the death of her father in La Guaira, Venezuela, Wilburn was left without means, her life upturned. Penny Schwartz, sun-sentinel.com, "The earliest known American Jewish novel introduces a new feminist voice," 20 Nov. 2019 Stand with Hong Kong,’’ referring to the protest movement that has upturned the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 14 Oct. 2019 The birth was difficult; the baby was breech, her face was upturned, and the umbilical cord was wrapped firmly around her neck. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Njinga," 4 Oct. 2019 The book follows the ripple effects of a random act of seemingly mundane proportions that manages to upturn everything. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy, From Immigrant Writing to a New ‘Darkness at Noon’," 10 Sep. 2019 Look at these marchers, some with faces upturned with wonderment and discovery, some with arms raised to clap, some scowling and angry; some seeking militant visibility and some turning bashfully from the camera. Andrew Solomon, New York Times, "The First New York Pride March Was an Act of ‘Desperate Courage’," 27 June 2019 Most notably, the hints that surfaced at the party that ended season 1 would’ve been maybe investigated a little further and talked about, but then there’s this huge tragic event that rocked the community and upturned everyone’s lives. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Big Little Lies' Adam Scott on Madeline's huge betrayal, the 'extremely dangerous' Mary Louise," 17 June 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In his two years leading the team, South Africa has undergone an upturn in fortunes. George Ramsay, CNN, "Ex-skipper Pienaar urges Springboks to 'take World Cup to the people'," 4 Nov. 2019 Because the state budget relies upon average production and prices through an entire year, the gap may diminish, but current forecasts don’t indicate any upturn in prices. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "As oil prices and production dip, state expects $200 million shortfall," 27 Oct. 2019 Cooper’s Ferry Chief Executive Kris Kolluri hopes the bike share will aid in the city’s recent upturn. Paul Berger, WSJ, "Can a Bike-Share Program Spur More Improvements in Camden?," 2 May 2018 Since then he's overseen an upturn in fortunes for the national side, most recently leading South Africa to a Rugby Championship title in the buildup to the World Cup. George Ramsay, CNN, "Siya Kolisi: 'There's no way I would've dreamed of being Springbok captain'," 9 Jan. 2019 But common sense and the hard truth of history suggest thatVCs risking other people’s money look heroic in upturns and turn tail fasterthan any in downturns. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "When the Venture-Capital Subsidies Dry Up—Data Sheet," 19 Aug. 2019 At Georgia, such spending has marked a dramatic upturn that has accompanied Smart’s arrival after the 2015 season. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "The cost of college football recruiting — and winning — is now through the roof," 31 July 2019 Having finished in the bottom two in five of the previous six seasons, there was a slight upturn in the side's fortunes once Clough and Taylor came in, but both were dismissed less than 12 months into their tenure by volatile chairman Ernest Ord. SI.com, "Brian Clough: He Wasn't the Best Manager in the Business, But He Was in the Top 1," 29 July 2019 With few signs of an upturn in the current quarter, the UK may be headed for consecutive quarters of negative growth, which would amount to a technical recession. Adam Rasmi, Quartz, "With Brexit looming, the UK economy went into reverse," 9 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for upturn

Time Traveler

The first known use of upturn was in 1567

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Statistics for upturn

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Upturn.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upturn?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=u&file=upturn01. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for upturn


How to pronounce upturn (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upturn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upturn

Spanish Central: Translation of upturn

Nglish: Translation of upturn for Spanish Speakers

Comments on upturn

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delight or enjoyment

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