turn up

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turn up (third-person singular simple present turns up, present participle turning up, simple past and past participle turned up)

  1. (intransitive, copulative) To show up; to appear suddenly or unexpectedly.
    Is this your t-shirt that turned up in my drawer?
    I don't like people turning up without an appointment.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[[Episode 16]]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, [], →OCLC:
      Highly providential was the appearance on the scene of Corny Kelleher when Stephen was blissfully unconscious but for that man in the gap turning up at the eleventh hour the finis might have been that he might have been a candidate for the accident ward []
    • 2020 December 2, Paul Bigland, “My weirdest and wackiest Rover yet”, in Rail, page 68:
      I haven't booked, so I don't have a clue as to whether the service will be busy or not. Supposedly, reservations are compulsory, but I want to find out what would happen if you just turn up.
  2. (transitive) To cause to appear; to find by searching, etc.
    I spent hours in the archives, but couldn't turn up anything on the alleged criminal.
  3. (transitive) To increase the amount of something by means of a control, such as the volume, heat, or light.
    Turn up the radio and sing along.
  4. (transitive) To reposition by rotating, flipping, etc. upwards.
    He turned up his collar against the cold.
  5. (transitive, nautical) To belay or make fast a line on a cleat or pin.
    Turn up the main halyard.
  6. (intransitive, slang) To party hard, especially when involving alcohol or drugs.
    We're going to turn up at the concert tonight.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In senses 2, 3 and 4 the object is normally a thing, not a person. It may appear before or after the particle. If the object is a pronoun, then it must be before the particle.



Derived terms[edit]



turn up (plural turn ups)

  1. Alternative spelling of turn-up

Derived terms[edit]