By turns
Turn Turn, n. 1. The act of turning; movement or motion about, or as if about, a center or axis; revolution; as, the turn of a wheel. [1913 Webster]

2. Change of direction, course, or tendency; different order, position, or aspect of affairs; alteration; vicissitude; as, the turn of the tide. [1913 Webster]

At length his complaint took a favorable turn. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

The turns and varieties of all passions. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

Too well the turns of mortal chance I know. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

3. One of the successive portions of a course, or of a series of occurrences, reckoning from change to change; hence, a winding; a bend; a meander. [1913 Webster]

And all its [the river's] thousand turns disclose. Some fresher beauty varying round. --Byron. [1913 Webster]

4. A circuitous walk, or a walk to and fro, ending where it began; a short walk; a stroll. [1913 Webster]

Come, you and I must walk a turn together. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

I will take a turn in your garden. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

5. Successive course; opportunity enjoyed by alternation with another or with others, or in due order; due chance; alternate or incidental occasion; appropriate time. ``Nobleness and bounty . . . had their turns in his [the king's] nature.'' [1913 Webster]

His turn will come to laugh at you again. --Denham. [1913 Webster]

Every one has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases. --Collier. [1913 Webster]

6. Incidental or opportune deed or office; occasional act of kindness or malice; as, to do one an ill turn. [1913 Webster]

Had I not done a friendes turn to thee? --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

thanks are half lost when good turns are delayed. --Fairfax. [1913 Webster]

7. Convenience; occasion; purpose; exigence; as, this will not serve his turn. [1913 Webster]

I have enough to serve mine own turn. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

8. Form; cast; shape; manner; fashion; -- used in a literal or figurative sense; hence, form of expression; mode of signifying; as, the turn of thought; a man of a sprightly turn in conversation. [1913 Webster]

The turn of both his expressions and thoughts is unharmonious. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

The Roman poets, in their description of a beautiful man, often mention the turn of his neck and arms. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

9. A change of condition; especially, a sudden or recurring symptom of illness, as a nervous shock, or fainting spell; as, a bad turn. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

10. A fall off the ladder at the gallows; a hanging; -- so called from the practice of causing the criminal to stand on a ladder which was turned over, so throwing him off, when the signal was given. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

11. A round of a rope or cord in order to secure it, as about a pin or a cleat. [1913 Webster]

12. (Mining) A pit sunk in some part of a drift. [1913 Webster]

13. (Eng. Law) A court of record, held by the sheriff twice a year in every hundred within his county. --Blount. [1913 Webster]

14. pl. (Med.) Monthly courses; menses. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

15. (Mus.) An embellishment or grace (marked thus, ?), commonly consisting of the principal note, or that on which the turn is made, with the note above, and the semitone below, the note above being sounded first, the principal note next, and the semitone below last, the three being performed quickly, as a triplet preceding the marked note. The turn may be inverted so as to begin with the lower note, in which case the sign is either placed on end thus ?, or drawn thus ?. [1913 Webster]

{By turns}. (a) One after another; alternately; in succession. (b) At intervals. ``[They] feel by turns the bitter change.'' --Milton.

{In turn}, in due order of succession.

{To a turn}, exactly; perfectly; as, done to a turn; -- a phrase alluding to the practice of cooking on a revolving spit.

{To take turns}, to alternate; to succeed one another in due order.

{Turn and turn about}, by equal alternating periods of service or duty; by turns.

{Turn bench}, a simple portable lathe, used on a bench by clock makers and watchmakers.

{Turn buckle}. See {Turnbuckle}, in Vocabulary.

{Turn cap}, a sort of chimney cap which turns round with the wind so as to present its opening to the leeward. --G. Francis.

{Turn of life} (Med.), change of life. See under {Change}.

{Turn screw}, a screw driver. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • by turns — ► by turns alternately. Main Entry: ↑turn …   English terms dictionary

  • by turns — adverb : one after another in regular succession : alternately, successively was praised and blamed by turns washed the dishes by turns stores that are by turns curious, tragic, ennobling, disturbing, and heartening C.R.Hewitt & Jenifer Wayne * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • by turns — {adv. phr.} First one and then another in a regular way; one substituting for or following another according to a repeated plan. * /On the drive to Chicago, the three men took the wheel by turns./ * /The teachers were on duty by turns./ * /When… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • by turns — {adv. phr.} First one and then another in a regular way; one substituting for or following another according to a repeated plan. * /On the drive to Chicago, the three men took the wheel by turns./ * /The teachers were on duty by turns./ * /When… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • by\ turns — adv. phr. First one and then another in a regular way; one substituting for or following another according to a repeated plan. On the drive to Chicago, the three men took the wheel by turns. The teachers were on duty by turns. When John had a… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • by turns — phrasal 1. one after another in regular succession 2. variously, alternately < a book that is by turns pedantic, delightful, and infuriating > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • by turns — changing from one state, mood, or quality to another Maria is by turns protective and vulnerable …   English dictionary

  • by turns — adverb One after the other; successively; alternating …   Wiktionary

  • by turns — one after another, one at a time according to a line …   English contemporary dictionary

  • by turns — alternately. → turn …   English new terms dictionary

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