Other forms: turned; turning; turns

When you turn something, you rotate it or move it around an axis, the way you turn a key in a lock or turn a car's steering wheel.

Gears and wheels turn, and you can turn a screw with a screwdriver. You can also turn by shifting direction or changing position: "She turned away from him when he started telling terrible jokes." When you flip the page of a book, you turn that as well. And to transform or change is another way to turn: "He turned pale when he saw the ghost." Turn can also be used a noun meaning "an act or instance of rotating." And when you play a board game, you roll the dice when it's your turn.

Definitions of turn
  1. verb
    move around an axis or a center
    “The wheels are turning
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    go around, revolve, rotate
    turn on or around an axis or a center
    drive in, screw
    cause to penetrate, as with a circular motion
    turn like a screw
    wheel, wheel around
    change directions as if revolving on a pivot
    gyrate, reel, spin, spin around, whirl
    revolve quickly and repeatedly around one's own axis
    swirl, twiddle, twirl, whirl
    turn in a twisting or spinning motion
    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  2. verb
    cause to move around or rotate
    turn a key”
    turn your palm this way”
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    cause to turn
    turn (the hand or forearm) so that the back is downward or backward, or turn out (the leg)
    put or turn on the left side, of a ship
    cause to tilt
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  3. verb
    cause to move along an axis or into a new direction
    turn your face to the wall”
    turn the car around”
    turn your dance partner around”
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    bring about
    cause to move into the opposite direction
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  4. verb
    shape by rotating on a lathe or cutting device or a wheel
    turn the legs of the table”
    turn the clay on the wheel”
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    type of:
    form, shape
    give shape or form to
  5. verb
    twist suddenly so as to sprain
    “I turned my ankle and couldn't walk for several days”
    synonyms: rick, sprain, twist, wrench, wrick
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    type of:
    injure, wound
    cause injuries or bodily harm to
  6. verb
    accomplish by rotating
    turn a somersault”
    turn cartwheels”
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    type of:
    do, perform
    get (something) done
  7. noun
    a circular segment of a curve
    synonyms: bend, crook, twist
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    a bend or curve (especially in a coastline)
    type of:
    curve, curved shape
    the trace of a point whose direction of motion changes
  8. noun
    turning or twisting around (in place)
    synonyms: twist
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    a series of small (usually idle) twists or turns
    type of:
    rotary motion, rotation
    the act of rotating as if on an axis
  9. verb
    cause to move around a center so as to show another side of
    turn a page of a book”
    synonyms: turn over
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    turn inside out; turn the inner surface of outward
    turn over pages
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  10. verb
    to break and turn over earth especially with a plow
    turn the earth in the Spring”
    synonyms: plough, plow
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    plough alternate strips by throwing the furrow onto an unploughed strip
    disk, harrow
    draw a harrow over (land)
    type of:
    work land as by ploughing, harrowing, and manuring, in order to make it ready for cultivation
  11. verb
    pass to the other side of
    turn the corner”
    synonyms: move around
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    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  12. verb
    cause (a plastic object) to assume a crooked or angular form
    “the strong man could turn an iron bar”
    synonyms: bend, deform, flex, twist
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    free from flexure
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    dent, indent
    make a depression into
    cause to curve inward
    twist into a state of deformity
    bend into the shape of a crank
    convolute, convolve
    curl, wind, or twist together
    type of:
    change form, change shape, deform
    assume a different shape or form
  13. verb
    to send or let go
    “They turned away the crowd at the gate of the governor's mansion”
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    type of:
    direct, send
    cause to go somewhere
  14. verb
    direct at someone
    “She turned a smile on me”
    “They turned their flashlights on the car”
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    type of:
    aim, direct, take, take aim, train
    point or cause to go (blows, weapons, or objects such as photographic equipment) towards
  15. verb
    let (something) fall or spill from a container
    turn the flour onto a plate”
    synonyms: release
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    release contained air or gas from
    throw (a die) out onto a flat surface
    throw dice, as in a crap game
    type of:
    channel, channelise, channelize, transfer, transmit, transport
    send from one person or place to another
  16. noun
    the act of changing or reversing the direction of the course
    “he took a turn to the right”
    synonyms: turning
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    deflection, deflexion, deviation, digression, divagation, diversion
    a turning aside (of your course or attention or concern)
    a turn toward the side of the body that is on the south when the person is facing east
    a turn toward the side of the body that is on the north when the person is facing east
    kick turn
    a standing turn made in skiing; one ski is raised to the vertical and pivoted backward to become parallel with the other ski but headed in the opposite direction and then the other ski is aligned with the first
    stem, stem turn
    a turn made in skiing; the back of one ski is forced outward and the other ski is brought parallel to it
    a turn made in skiing; the outside ski is placed ahead and turned gradually inwards
    swerve, swerving, veering
    the act of turning aside suddenly
    three-point turn
    the act of turning a vehicle around in a limited space by moving in a series of back and forward arcs
    manual turning of a fetus in the uterus (usually to aid delivery)
    red herring
    any diversion intended to distract attention from the main issue
    type of:
    change of course
    a change in the direction that you are moving
  17. noun
    the act of turning away or in the opposite direction
    “he made an abrupt turn away from her”
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    type of:
    change of direction, reorientation
    the act of changing the direction in which something is oriented
  18. noun
    taking a short walk out and back
    “we took a turn in the park”
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    type of:
    the act of walking somewhere
  19. noun
    a movement in a new direction
    synonyms: turning
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    reversal, turn around
    turning in an opposite direction or position
    swerve, yaw
    an erratic deflection from an intended course
    gyration, revolution, rotation
    a single complete turn (axial or orbital)
    coming back, return
    the occurrence of a change in direction back in the opposite direction
    a rolling or revolving motion
    clockwise rotation, dextrorotation
    rotation to the right
    counterclockwise rotation, levorotation
    rotation to the left
    axial motion, axial rotation, roll
    rotary motion of an object around its own axis
    orbital motion, orbital rotation
    motion of an object in an orbit around a fixed point
    a swift whirling motion (usually of a missile)
    type of:
    motion, movement
    a natural event that involves a change in the position or location of something
  20. verb
    change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense
    Turn towards me”
    “She turned from herself and learned to listen to others' needs”
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    turn in the opposite direction
    flip, flip over, turn over
    turn upside down, or throw so as to reverse
    turn on a dime
    have a small turning radius
    roll, turn over
    move by turning over or rotating
    roll over
    make a rolling motion or turn
    swing about, swing around, turn around
    turn abruptly and face the other way, either physically or metaphorically
    flip, toss
    lightly throw to see which side comes up
    turn or go to the port or left side, of a ship
    turn so as to face; turn the face in a certain direction
    turn off
    make a turn
    turn away
    move so as not face somebody or something
    turn to the right side
    turn, usually 180 degrees
    make a half turn on a horse, in dressage
    turn a corner
    overturn, tip over, tump over, turn over
    turn from an upright or normal position
    change direction
    curve, cut, sheer, slew, slue, swerve, trend, veer
    turn sharply; change direction abruptly
    turn aside and away from an initial or intended course
    bend, deflect, turn away
    turn from a straight course, fixed direction, or line of interest
    avert, turn away
    turn away or aside
    rotate, splay, spread out, turn out
    turn outward
    circumvolve, rotate
    cause to turn on an axis or center
    pivot, swivel
    turn on a pivot
    coil, gyrate, spiral
    wind or move in a spiral course
    corkscrew, spiral
    move in a spiral or zigzag course
    deviate, divert
    turn aside; turn away from
    turn the forearm or the hand so that the palm is directed downwards
    twist (a body part) into a strained position
    twist or curve abruptly
    curl, wave
    twist or roll into coils or ringlets
    crank, crank up
    rotate with a crank
    roll around the rim of
    do a somersault
    roll over and over, back and forth
    capsize, turn turtle, turtle
    overturn accidentally
    become turned or set on end
    peel off
    leave a formation
    swerve off course momentarily
    birl, spin, twirl, whirl
    cause to spin
    birl, birle
    cause a floating log to rotate by treading
    do a pirouette, usually as part of a dance
    deviate erratically from a set course
    travel via a detour
    depart, digress, sidetrack, straggle
    wander from a direct or straight course
    toss, roll, or rise and fall in an uncontrolled way
    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  21. verb
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
    “We turned from Socialism to Capitalism”
    synonyms: change state
    pass into a condition gradually, take on a specific property or attribute; become
    undergo a change or development
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    arouse, awake, awaken, come alive, wake, wake up, waken
    stop sleeping
    black out, pass out, zonk out
    lose consciousness due to a sudden trauma, for example
    come to, resuscitate, revive
    return to consciousness
    tense, tense up
    become tense, nervous, or uneasy
    decompress, loosen up, relax, slow down, unbend, unwind
    become less tense, rest, or take one's ease
    lose weight, melt off, reduce, slenderize, slim, slim down, thin
    take off weight
    gain, put on
    increase (one's body weight)
    apparel, clothe, dress, enclothe, fit out, garb, garment, habilitate, raiment, tog
    provide with clothes or put clothes on
    cross-fertilise, cross-fertilize
    undergo cross-fertilization; become fertile
    become pregnant; undergo conception
    secularise, secularize
    make secular and draw away from a religious orientation
    cause to form a salt or ester of citric acid
    bring to a chemical stasis or equilibrium
    pass suddenly and passively into a state of body or mind
    become, get, go, wax
    enter or assume a certain state or condition
    decline, worsen
    grow worse
    ameliorate, better, improve, meliorate
    get better
    become free
    become overgrown
    make denser, stronger, or purer
    crack; of the male voice in puberty
    acetify, acidify
    turn acidic
    alkalify, alkalise, alkalize, basify
    turn basic and less acidic
    ionise, ionize
    convert into ions
    become bony
    catalyse, catalyze
    change by catalysis or cause to catalyze
    get worse, relapse
    deteriorate in health
    be unstable
    break loose, burst forth, explode
    be unleashed; emerge with violence or noise
    buy the farm, cash in one's chips, choke, conk, croak, decease, die, drop dead, exit, expire, give-up the ghost, go, kick the bucket, pass, pass away, perish, pop off, snuff it
    pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life
    be born
    come into existence through birth
    cloud over
    become overcast
    carbonise, carbonize
    turn into carbon, as by burning
    chill, cool, cool down
    loose heat
    heat, heat up, hot up
    gain heat or get hot
    carbonise, carbonize, carburise, carburize
    unite with carbon
    change to ice
    come to the boiling point and change from a liquid to vapor
    burn, combust
    undergo combustion
    grow weak and thin or waste away physically
    become French in appearance or character
    lose thickness; become thin or thinner
    inspissate, thicken
    become thick or thicker
    undergo solvation or convert into a solvate
    undergo a chemical reaction; react with another substance under certain conditions
    dissolve, fade away, fade out
    become weaker
    discharge, empty
    become empty or void of its content
    fill, fill up
    become full
    homogenise, homogenize
    become homogeneous or similar, as by mixing
    homogenise, homogenize
    break up the fat globules of
    clabber, clot, curdle
    turn into curds
    clot, coagulate
    change from a liquid to a thickened or solid state
    ferment, sour, work
    go sour or spoil
    become one; become integrated
    separate as a fine suspension of solid particles
    turn into lime; become calcified
    become coke
    become muscular or fleshy
    turn into cartilage
    form into or become an emulsion
    remove nitrogen from
    change (a compound) into an ester
    change into an ether
    become blocked by a thrombus
    open, open up
    become open
    close, shut
    become closed
    sorb, take up
    take up a liquid or a gas either by adsorption or by absorption
    calm, calm down, chill out, cool it, cool off, settle down, simmer down
    become quiet or calm, especially after a state of agitation
    flourish, fly high, prosper, thrive
    make steady progress; be at the high point in one's career or reach a high point in historical significance or importance
    emancipate, liberate
    give equal rights to; of women and minorities
    get into, tangle with
    get involved in or with
    become liquid
    catch fire, combust, conflagrate, erupt, ignite, take fire
    start to burn or burst into flames
    conk, faint, pass out, swoon
    pass out from weakness, physical or emotional distress due to a loss of blood supply to the brain
    vege out, vegetate
    engage in passive relaxation
    sit back, take it easy
    settle into a comfortable sitting position
    prim, prim out, prim up
    dress primly
    sweat off
    lose weight by sweating
    fill out, flesh out, round
    become round, plump, or shapely
    cover, wrap up
    clothe, as if for protection from the elements
    put a jacket on
    put a frock on
    put a shirt on
    put a habit on
    provide or cover with a cloak
    overclothe, overdress
    dress too warmly
    dress without sufficient warmth
    dress with a corset
    furnish with shoes
    cover or provide with a coat
    costume, dress up
    dress in a costume
    robe, vest
    clothe formally; especially in ecclesiastical robes
    cease development, die, and be aborted
    emerge from the eggs
    become inflamed; get sore
    conceive when a fetus is already present in the uterus
    come down, sicken
    get sick
    degenerate, deteriorate, devolve, drop
    grow worse
    convalesce, recover, recuperate
    get over an illness or shock
    get healthy again
    dress in a gown
    pack on
    gain (weight)
    fall or sink into a state of exhaustion or death
    fall in love
    begin to experience feelings of love towards
    sober, sober up
    become sober after excessive alcohol consumption
    sober, sober up
    become more realistic
    arrive at a certain condition through repeated motion
    reform, see the light, straighten out
    change for the better
    see one's performance improve
    deprive, impoverish
    take away
    get worse
    suffer a sudden downfall, overthrow, or defeat
    drop away, drop off, fall away, slip
    get worse
    get worse
    lose, suffer
    be set at a disadvantage
    pick up, turn around
    improve significantly; go from bad to good
    become unlocked
    regress, retrograde, retrogress
    get worse or fall back to a previous condition
    bounce back, get over, get well
    improve in health
    heal, mend
    heal or recover
    asphyxiate, stifle, suffocate
    be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen
    buy it, pip out
    be killed or die;
    die from being submerged in water, getting water into the lungs, and asphyxiating
    be born, used chiefly of lambs
    die before; die earlier than
    come into being, come to life
    be born or come into existence
    merge, unify, unite
    become one
    get excessively and undesirably hot
    become frozen and covered with glaciers
    boil over, overboil
    overflow or cause to overflow while boiling
    burn down, burn up, go up
    burn completely; be consumed or destroyed by fire
    smolder, smoulder
    burn slowly and without a flame
    turn from a liquid to a solid mass
    flow away, flow off
    flow off or away gradually
    fill with tears
    become filled to overflowing
    rack up
    supply a rack with feed for (horses or other animals)
    become integrated into the genome of (a bacterium)
    become productive or fruitful
    take effect
    go into effect or become effective or operative
    bromate, brominate
    react with bromine
    disengage the clutch of a car
    change from one state to another
    be seized or affected in a specified way
    come into being
    become resolved, fixed, established, or quiet
    turn down
    take a downward direction
    scorch, sear, singe
    become superficially burned
    get better travel conditions
    burn with great heat and intense light
    famish, starve
    die of food deprivation
    become undone or untied
    fly open
    come open suddenly
    become imbued
    accumulate (liquids or gases) on the surface
    take up a substance by chemisorption
    die, as in battle or in a hunt
    succumb, yield
    be fatally overwhelmed
    reincarnate, transmigrate
    be born anew in another body after death
    be excessively hot
    be in flames or aflame
    blow out
    erupt in an uncontrolled manner
    start burning
    light up
    start to burn with a bright flame
    blaze up, burn up, flame up, flare
    burn brightly
    burn brightly and intensely
    provide with small, decorative articles of clothing, jewelry, etc.
    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  22. verb
    cause to change or turn into something different;assume new characteristics
    “The princess turned the frog into a prince by kissing him”
    “The alchemists tried to turn lead into gold”
    undergo a change or development
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  23. verb
    channel one's attention, interest, thought, or attention toward or away from something
    “people turn to mysticism at the turn of a millennium”
    see moresee less
    take up
    turn one's interest to
    type of:
    direct, send
    cause to go somewhere
  24. verb
    have recourse to or make an appeal or request for help or information to
    “She turned to her relatives for help”
    synonyms: call on
    see moresee less
    type of:
    appeal, invoke
    request earnestly (something from somebody); ask for aid or protection
  25. verb
    pass into a condition gradually, take on a specific property or attribute; become
    “The weather turned nasty”
    synonyms: grow
    change state
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
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    grow bald; lose hair on one's head
    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  26. verb
    undergo a change or development
    “The water turned into ice”
    “He turned traitor”
    synonyms: become
    change state
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
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    boil down, come down, reduce
    be the essential element
    choke, suffocate
    become stultified, suppressed, or stifled
    form into a nucleus
    add up, amount, come
    develop into
    amount in the aggregate to
    type of:
    metamorphose, transform, transmute
    change in outward structure or looks
  27. verb
    change to the contrary
    “the tides turned against him”
    synonyms: change by reversal, reverse
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    alternate, flip, flip-flop, interchange, switch, tack
    reverse (a direction, attitude, or course of action)
    turn the tables, turn the tide
    cause a complete reversal of the circumstances
    reverse the direction of (an alternating electric current) each half cycle so as to produce a unidirectional current
    exchange, switch, switch over
    change over, change around, as to a new order or sequence
    correct, rectify, right
    make right or correct
    falsify knowingly
    commute, permute, transpose
    change the order or arrangement of
    metamorphose, transfigure, transmogrify
    change completely the nature or appearance of
    regress, retrovert, return, revert, turn back
    go back to a previous state
    desynchronise, desynchronize
    cause to become desynchronized; cause to occur at unrelated times
    deconsecrate, desecrate, unhallow
    remove the consecration from a person or an object
    cancel, annul, or reverse an action or its effect
    fall back, lapse, recidivate, regress, relapse, retrogress
    go back to bad behavior
    amend, rectify, remediate, remedy, repair
    set straight or right
    locate and correct errors in a computer program code
    map, represent
    to establish a mapping (of mathematical elements or sets)
    return to the original position or state after being stretched or compressed
    go back, recover, recuperate
    regain a former condition after a financial loss
    unbrace, unlace, untie
    undo the ties of
    remove the strap or straps from
    unfasten or release from or as if from a hitch
    undo (the stitches) of (a piece of sewing)
    cause to become undone
    undo the belt of
    take the staples off
    remove the clip from
    undo the buttons of
    remove the pins from; unfasten the pins of
    disconnect, unplug
    pull the plug of (electrical appliances) and render inoperable
    undo the braids of
    unknot, unpick, unravel, unscramble, untangle
    become or cause to become undone by separating the fibers or threads of
    disentangle, unwind
    separate the tangles of
    undo the buckle of
    open, spread, spread out, unfold
    spread out or open from a closed or folded state
    undo the wiring of
    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  28. verb
    alter the functioning or setting of
    turn the dial to 10”
    turn the heat down”
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    type of:
    control, operate
    handle and cause to function
  29. verb
    change color
    “In Vermont, the leaves turn early”
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    type of:
    pass into a condition gradually, take on a specific property or attribute; become
    color, colour, discolor, discolour
    change color, often in an undesired manner
  30. verb
    go sour or spoil
    “The cream has turned--we have to throw it out”
    synonyms: ferment, sour, work
    ferment, work
    cause to undergo fermentation
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    type of:
    change state
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
  31. verb
    become officially one year older
    “She is turning 50 this year”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    age, get on, maturate, mature, senesce
    grow old or older
  32. noun
    an unforeseen development
    “events suddenly took an awkward turn
    synonyms: turn of events, twist
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    type of:
    a recent event that has some relevance for the present situation
  33. noun
    (game) the activity of doing something in an agreed succession
    “it is my turn
    synonyms: play
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    (game) a player's turn to take some action permitted by the rules of the game
    start, starting
    a turn to be a starter (in a game at the beginning)
    the batting turn of a cricket player or team
    an offensive move in a sport or game
    (American football) a complete play to advance the football
    at-bat, bat
    (baseball) a turn trying to get a hit
    the playing of a card to start a trick in bridge
    ruff, trumping
    (card games) the act of taking a trick with a trump when unable to follow suit
    (card games) in a single round, the sequence of cards played by all the players; the high card is the winner
    chess move
    the act of moving a chess piece
    an immediate second innings forced on a cricket team scoring a prescribed number of runs fewer than its opponents in the first innings
    counterattack, counterplay
    (chess) an attack that is intended to counter the opponent's advantage in another part of the board
    type of:
    any specific behavior
  34. noun
    a time for working (after which you will be relieved by someone else)
    synonyms: go, spell, tour
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    type of:
    duty period, shift, work shift
    the time period during which you are at work
  35. noun
    (sports) a division during which one team is on the offensive
    synonyms: bout, round
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    top, top of the inning
    the first half of an inning; while the visiting team is at bat
    bottom, bottom of the inning
    the second half of an inning; while the home team is at bat
    type of:
    division, part, section
    one of the portions into which something is regarded as divided and which together constitute a whole
  36. noun
    a short theatrical performance that is part of a longer program
    synonyms: act, bit, number, routine
    see moresee less
    show-stopper, showstopper, stopper
    an act so striking or impressive that the show must be delayed until the audience quiets down
    type of:
    performance, public presentation
    a dramatic or musical entertainment
  37. noun
    a favor for someone
    synonyms: good turn
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    type of:
    favor, favour
    an act of gracious kindness
  38. verb
    get by buying and selling
    “the company turned a good profit after a year”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    acquire, get
    come into the possession of something concrete or abstract




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