From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



A lazy Susan, a type of turntable (sense 1), used to rotate dishes of food on a table in a Chinese restaurant in Tokyo, Japan
A gramophone record on the turntable (sense 1.1) of a record player. A record player itself can also be called a turntable.
A small locomotive turntable (sense 1.2)
A car on a turntable (sense 1.2) in a car park in Basel, Switzerland

turn +‎ table.



turntable (plural turntables)

  1. A circular rotating platform.
    • 1863 December 11, “Grantham’s Manufacturing Compressed Fuel”, in The Engineer, volume XVI, London: Office for publication and advertisements, 163, Strand, W.C., →OCLC, page 342, column 1:
      This invention, by John Grantham, of 31, Nicholas-lane, E.C., refers to machines with turntables or mould frames, upon which are fixed a certain number of moulds, and around which three operations are carried on nearly simultaneously, [] The moulds are presented seriatim to these operations, and hitherto the turntable has been moved by means of manual labour, which it is now proposed to effect by the use of hydraulic machinery.
    • 1943 January, Irvine White, “The Human Body—How It Works”, in E. D. Mitchell, editor, The Journal of Health and Physical Education, volume 14, number 1, Washington, D.C.: American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 13, column 2:
      [T]he Museum has installed turntables to give life to other material. Thus one sees a cross-section of the human skull revolving slowly on its pedestal and a much enlarged model of the ear on another, so that the spectator can examine every detail without walking around the display.
    • 1992 June, Anna W. Schoettle, Robert Hubbard, A Rain Simulator for Greenhouse Use (USDA Forest Service Research Note; RM-517), [Fort Collins, Colo.]: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, →OCLC, page 3, column 1:
      The potted plant material can be placed on the turntables during the treatment period, and rotated to ensure uniform distribution of simulated rain to the plant material. [] The amount of water delivered to each of the four turntables was compared by analysis of variance (SPSS).
    1. (music) The circular rotating platform of a record player or a disk jockey's console on which the record rests during play; (by extension), a record player.
      Synonym: ones and twos
      • 2006, John Steventon, “Getting Decked Out with Turntables”, in DJing for Dummies (For Dummies), Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, part II (Navigating the Maze: Equipment Essentials), page 66:
        Inside a belt-driven turntable is a small motor with a rubber band linking it to the underside of the deckplatter (the part you put the record on). [] Direct-driven turntables are a better option than belt-driven ones. [] [I]n direct-driven turntables the centre spindle is the motor (so it drives the motor directly).
      • 2015, Marylou Morano Kjelle, chapter 1, in Trends in Hip-hop Dance (Dance & Fitness Trends), Hockessin, Del.: Mitchell Lane Publishers, →ISBN, page 8:
        He played two copies of the same record, one on each turntable, at the same time. He cut back and forth between the two records by lifting the turntables’ needles and dropping them back on the vinyl. This allowed him to replay the same part of the record over and over again, which lengthened the break from several seconds to several minutes.
    2. (rail transport, road transport) A rotating platform placed in a circular pit, used for turning locomotives, cars, or trucks.
      • 1846, Luke Hebert, The Engineer’s and Mechanic’s Encyclopædia, []. In Two Volumes, volume II, London: Thomas Kelly, [], →OCLC, page 432:
        In order to transfer an engine or carriage laterally to another line of rails, at a station or terminus, circular platforms called turntables are established upon each set of rails, which turn as upon a pivot in the centre of each line, each contiguous pair of tables being connected by short branch rails, standing at right angles to the line of rails. The engine or carriage to be transferred is brought to rest wholly upon one table, which is then turned a quarter round, and the carriage is then wheeled on to the next turntable, which being likewise turned a quarter round, the engine or carriage will then be in a position to proceed on the line to which the second table appertains.
      • 1944 July and August, Reginald B. Fellows, “The Failure of Bricklayers Arms as a Passenger Station—I”, in Railway Magazine, page 211:
        Of locomotive interest was "an engine house for spare engines which was about 60 ft. × 51 ft.; on the outside of this was an immense turntable sufficient to turn the engine and tender at once."
      • 2021 December 1, Nigel Harris, “St Pancras and King's Cross: 1947”, in RAIL, number 945, page 43, photo caption:
        The domestic coal depot at St Pancras, north of Somers Town Goods. The numerous transverse sidings, into which full wagons were placed for unloading, were served by more than a dozen small wagon turntables from a central spine siding, with shunting by horses or possibly capstans and cables.

Derived terms[edit]



turntable (third-person singular simple present turntables, present participle turntabling, simple past and past participle turntabled)

  1. (transitive, music) To play (a record) using a turntable.
    • 1982, “Holiday Music”, in Westways, volume 74, Los Angeles, Calif.: Automobile Club of Southern California, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 66, column 3:
      Traditional carols we all know. Holiday Baroque, Renaissance and medieval music is not, and therefore makes a distinctive gift for the discriminating recordphile and is certain to be turntabled other times of the year, too: []
    • 2006, Spin, volume 22, New York, N.Y.: Spin Magazine, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 101, column 2:
      Rik Shaw of Deadly Dragon Soundsystem continues his weekly residency by turntabling the rudest Jamaican dance records ever pressed.
  2. (intransitive) To rotate or turn around using, or as if using, a turntable.
    • 1919, The Architectural Review, volume 45, London: The Architectural Press, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 28, column 2:
      Herein we see a plan wisely borrowed from America, in whose great cities the bulk of the merchandise is not carted along the streets, but turntabled into and out of the warehouse basements from an underground railway.
    • 1963, Beulah Gundling, Exploring Aquatic Art, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: International Academy of Aquatic Art, →OCLC, page 510:
      To submerge the upper body while turntabling on the side, perform one scoop with the lower arm, or two smaller scoops with the same arm, so that the body rolls and twists from a Spearfish position on the side into an inverted Spearfish position.
    • 1971, Io Magazine, Richmond, Calif.: North Atlantic Books, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 186:
      He stopped, turned around and looked to the City, which he saw as its first buildings in the haze the subway el entered as a vanishing point. He looked into the other direction, hills beginning, turntabling a highway toward the country.
    • 1981, Nicholas Kenyon, The BBC Symphony Orchestra: The First Fifty Years, 1930–1980, London: British Broadcasting Corporation, →ISBN, page 366:
      The Round House, a bare, gaunt railway shed designed by Stephenson in 1847, in which engines were once housed and turntabled (hence its shape and name), was in those days very flexible in its programming and in its seating arrangements; []
    • 2006, Peter Johnson, Eduardo & “I”: Prose Poems, Buffalo, N.Y.: White Pine Press, →ISBN, page 21:
      "Pass the loco weed," I say to a middle-aged redhead turntabling naked in the middle of the floor, no doubt wondering why her red go-go boots are nailed over the fireplace.
  3. (intransitive, music) To manipulate sound using turntables; to perform turntablism; to scratch
    • 2017 May 6, Zach Dionne, “Slipknot Classic ‘The Shape’ Gets a 360 Virtual Reality Live Video”, in Fuse[1], archived from the original on 6 October 2017:
      We particularly like hovering next to DJ Sid Wilson and seeing how he spends the large chunks of time where he's not turntabling.


Further reading[edit]