turn on one's heel

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turn on one's heel

  1. (idiomatic) To suddenly turn away from someone or something in order to depart rapidly, especially as expressive of haughtiness, disapproval, or evasiveness.
    • 1824, Sir Walter Scott, chapter 9, in St. Ronan's Well:
      There he stood, answering shortly and gruffly to all questions proposed to him, . . . and as soon as the ancient priestess had handed him his glass of the salutiferous water, turned on his heel with a brief good-morning.
    • 1899, Arthur Conan Doyle, chapter 14, in A Duet:
      "Well, Maude, he was on the platform this morning, and when he saw me, he turned on his heel and hurried out of the station."
    • 1906, Annie Fellows Johnston, chapter 14, in The Little Colonel: Maid of Honor:
      But Bernice, standing stiff and angry in the starlight, turned on her heel without a response.
    • 1949 May 9, "Unseasonal Weather," Time:
      In one store she eyed a cotton dress, turned on her heel when she saw the $40 price tag.
    • 2004 March 1, Elisabeth Bumiller, "On Gay Marriage, Bush May Have Said All He’s Going To," New York Times (retrieved 18 July 2011):
      When Mr. Bush finished his five-minute statement . . . he abruptly turned on his heel and strode from the room, ignoring all questions.


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