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2 definitions found
 for To turn the tables
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Table \Ta"ble\ (t[=a]"'l), n. [F., fr. L. tabula a board,
     tablet, a painting. Cf. Tabular, Taffrail, Tavern.]
     1. A smooth, flat surface, like the side of a board; a thin,
        flat, smooth piece of anything; a slab.
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              A bagnio paved with fair tables of marble. --Sandys.
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     2. A thin, flat piece of wood, stone, metal, or other
        material, on which anything is cut, traced, written, or
        painted; a tablet; pl. a memorandum book. "The names . . .
        written on his tables." --Chaucer.
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              And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of
              stone like unto the first, and I will write upon
              these tables the words that were in the first
              tables, which thou brakest.           --Ex. xxxiv.
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              And stand there with your tables to glean
              The golden sentences.                 --Beau. & Fl.
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     3. Any smooth, flat surface upon which an inscription, a
        drawing, or the like, may be produced. "Painted in a table
        plain." --Spenser.
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              The opposite walls are painted by Rubens, which,
              with that other of the Infanta taking leave of Don
              Philip, is a most incomparable table. --Evelyn.
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              St. Antony has a table that hangs up to him from a
              poor peasant.                         --Addison.
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     4. Hence, in a great variety of applications: A condensed
        statement which may be comprehended by the eye in a single
        view; a methodical or systematic synopsis; the
        presentation of many items or particulars in one group; a
        scheme; a schedule. Specifically: 
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        (a) (Bibliog.) A view of the contents of a work; a
            statement of the principal topics discussed; an index;
            a syllabus; a synopsis; as, a table of contents.
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        (b) (Chem.) A list of substances and their properties;
            especially, the a list of the elementary substances
            with their atomic weights, densities, symbols, etc.;
            the periodic table of the elements.
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        (c) (Mathematics, Science and Technology) Any collection
            and arrangement in a condensed form of many
            particulars or values, for ready reference, as of
            weights, measures, currency, specific gravities, etc.;
            also, a series of numbers following some law, and
            expressing particular values corresponding to certain
            other numbers on which they depend, and by means of
            which they are taken out for use in computations; as,
            tables of logarithms, sines, tangents, squares, cubes,
            etc.; annuity tables; interest tables; astronomical
            tables; a table of logarithms, etc.
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        (d) (Palmistry) The arrangement or disposition of the
            lines which appear on the inside of the hand.
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                  Mistress of a fairer table
                  Hath not history for fable.       --B. Jonson.
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     5. An article of furniture, consisting of a flat slab, board,
        or the like, having a smooth surface, fixed horizontally
        on legs, and used for a great variety of purposes, as in
        eating, writing, or working.
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              We may again
              Give to our tables meat.              --Shak.
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              The nymph the table spread.           --Pope.
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     6. Hence, food placed on a table to be partaken of; fare;
        entertainment; as, to set a good table.
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     7. The company assembled round a table.
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              I drink the general joy of the whole table. --Shak.
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     8. (Anat.) One of the two, external and internal, layers of
        compact bone, separated by diploe, in the walls of the
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     9. (Arch.) A stringcourse which includes an offset; esp., a
        band of stone, or the like, set where an offset is
        required, so as to make it decorative. See Water table.
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     10. (Games)
         (a) The board on the opposite sides of which backgammon
             and draughts are played.
         (b) One of the divisions of a backgammon board; as, to
             play into the right-hand table.
         (c) pl. The games of backgammon and of draughts. [Obs.]
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                   This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice,
                   That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice.
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     11. (Glass Manuf.) A circular plate of crown glass.
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               A circular plate or table of about five feet
               diameter weighs on an average nine pounds. --Ure.
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     12. (Jewelry) The upper flat surface of a diamond or other
         precious stone, the sides of which are cut in angles.
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     13. (Persp.) A plane surface, supposed to be transparent and
         perpendicular to the horizon; -- called also perspective
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     14. (Mach.) The part of a machine tool on which the work
         rests and is fastened.
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     Bench table, Card table, Communion table, Lord's
     table, etc. See under Bench, Card, etc.
     Raised table (Arch. & Sculp.), a raised or projecting
        member of a flat surface, large in proportion to the
        projection, and usually rectangular, -- especially
        intended to receive an inscription or the like.
     Roller table (Horology), a flat disk on the arbor of the
        balance of a watch, holding the jewel which rolls in and
        out of the fork at the end of the lever of the escapement.
     Round table. See Dictionary of Noted Names in Fiction.
     Table anvil, a small anvil to be fastened to a table for
        use in making slight repairs.
     Table base. (Arch.) Same as Water table.
     Table bed, a bed in the form of a table.
     Table beer, beer for table, or for common use; small beer.
     Table bell, a small bell to be used at table for calling
     Table cover, a cloth for covering a table, especially at
        other than mealtimes.
     Table diamond, a thin diamond cut with a flat upper
     Table linen, linen tablecloth, napkins, and the like.
     Table money (Mil. or Naut.), an allowance sometimes made to
        officers over and above their pay, for table expenses.
     Table rent (O. Eng. Law), rent paid to a bishop or
        religious, reserved or appropriated to his table or
        housekeeping. --Burrill.
     Table shore (Naut.), a low, level shore.
     Table talk, conversation at table, or at meals.
     Table talker, one who talks at table.
     Table tipping, Table turning, certain movements of
        tables, etc., attributed by some to the agency of departed
        spirits, and by others to the development of latent vital
        or spriritual forces, but more commonly ascribed to the
        muscular force of persons in connection with the objects
        moved, or to physical force applied otherwise.
     Tables of a girder or Tables of a chord (Engin.), the
        upper and lower horizontal members.
     To lay on the table, in parliamentary usage, to lay, as a
        report, motion, etc., on the table of the presiding
        officer, -- that is, to postpone the consideration of, by
        a vote; -- also called to table . It is a tactic often
        used with the intention of postponing consideration of a
        motion indefinitely, that is, to kill the motion.
     To serve tables (Script.), to provide for the poor, or to
        distribute provisions for their wants. --Acts vi. 2.
     To turn the tables, to change the condition or fortune of
        contending parties; -- a metaphorical expression taken
        from the vicissitudes of fortune in gaming.
     Twelve tables (Rom. Antiq.), a celebrated body of Roman
        laws, framed by decemvirs appointed 450 years before
        Christ, on the return of deputies or commissioners who had
        been sent to Greece to examine into foreign laws and
        institutions. They consisted partly of laws transcribed
        from the institutions of other nations, partly of such as
        were altered and accommodated to the manners of the
        Romans, partly of new provisions, and mainly, perhaps, of
        laws and usages under their ancient kings. --Burrill.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Turn \Turn\ (t[^u]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Turned (t[^u]rnd);
     p. pr. & vb. n. Turning.] [OE. turnen, tournen, OF.
     tourner, torner, turner, F. tourner, LL. tornare, fr. L.
     tornare to turn in a lathe, to round off, fr. tornus a lathe,
     Gr. to`rnos a turner's chisel, a carpenter's tool for drawing
     circles; probably akin to E. throw. See Throw, and cf.
     Attorney, Return, Tornado, Tour, Tournament.]
     1. To cause to move upon a center, or as if upon a center; to
        give circular motion to; to cause to revolve; to cause to
        move round, either partially, wholly, or repeatedly; to
        make to change position so as to present other sides in
        given directions; to make to face otherwise; as, to turn a
        wheel or a spindle; to turn the body or the head.
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              Turn the adamantine spindle round.    --Milton.
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              The monarch turns him to his royal guest. --Pope.
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     2. To cause to present a different side uppermost or outmost;
        to make the upper side the lower, or the inside to be the
        outside of; to reverse the position of; as, to turn a box
        or a board; to turn a coat.
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     3. To give another direction, tendency, or inclination to; to
        direct otherwise; to deflect; to incline differently; --
        used both literally and figuratively; as, to turn the eyes
        to the heavens; to turn a horse from the road, or a ship
        from her course; to turn the attention to or from
        something. "Expert when to advance, or stand, or, turn the
        sway of battle." --Milton.
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              Thrice I deluded her, and turned to sport
              Her importunity.                      --Milton.
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              My thoughts are turned on peace.      --Addison.
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     4. To change from a given use or office; to divert, as to
        another purpose or end; to transfer; to use or employ; to
        apply; to devote.
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              Therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto
              David.                                --1 Chron. x.
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              God will make these evils the occasion of a greater
              good, by turning them to advantage in this world.
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              When the passage is open, land will be turned most
              to cattle; when shut, to sheep.       --Sir W.
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     5. To change the form, quality, aspect, or effect of; to
        alter; to metamorphose; to convert; to transform; -- often
        with to or into before the word denoting the effect or
        product of the change; as, to turn a worm into a winged
        insect; to turn green to blue; to turn prose into verse;
        to turn a Whig to a Tory, or a Hindu to a Christian; to
        turn good to evil, and the like.
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              The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have
              compassion upon thee.                 --Deut. xxx.
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              And David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the
              counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. --2 Sam. xv.
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              Impatience turns an ague into a fever. --Jer.
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     6. To form in a lathe; to shape or fashion (anything) by
        applying a cutting tool to it while revolving; as, to turn
        the legs of stools or tables; to turn ivory or metal.
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              I had rather hear a brazen canstick turned. --Shak.
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     7. Hence, to give form to; to shape; to mold; to put in
        proper condition; to adapt. "The poet's pen turns them to
        shapes." --Shak.
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              His limbs how turned, how broad his shoulders spread
              !                                     --Pope.
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              He was perfectly well turned for trade. --Addison.
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     8. Specifically:
        (a) To translate; to construe; as, to turn the Iliad.
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                  Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown.
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        (b) To make acid or sour; to ferment; to curdle, etc.: as,
            to turn cider or wine; electricity turns milk quickly.
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        (c) To sicken; to nauseate; as, an emetic turns one's
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     9. To make a turn about or around (something); to go or pass
        around by turning; as, to turn a corner.
              The ranges are not high or steep, and one can turn a
              kopje instead of cutting or tunneling through it.
                                                    --James Bryce.
     To be turned of, to be advanced beyond; as, to be turned of
     To turn a cold shoulder to, to treat with neglect or
     To turn a corner,
        (a) to go round a corner.
        (b) [Fig.] To advance beyond a difficult stage in a
            project, or in life.
     To turn adrift, to cast off, to cease to care for.
     To turn a flange (Mech.), to form a flange on, as around a
        metal sheet or boiler plate, by stretching, bending, and
        hammering, or rolling the metal.
     To turn against.
        (a) To direct against; as, to turn one's arguments against
        (b) To make unfavorable or hostile to; as, to turn one's
            friends against him.
     To turn a hostile army, To turn the enemy's flank, or the
        like (Mil.), to pass round it, and take a position behind
        it or upon its side.
     To turn a penny, or To turn an honest penny, to make a
        small profit by trade, or the like.
     To turn around one's finger, to have complete control of
        the will and actions of; to be able to influence at
     To turn aside, to avert.
     To turn away.
        (a) To dismiss from service; to discard; as, to turn away
            a servant.
        (b) To avert; as, to turn away wrath or evil.
     To turn back.
        (a) To give back; to return.
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                  We turn not back the silks upon the merchants,
                  When we have soiled them.         --Shak.
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        (b) To cause to return or retrace one's steps; hence, to
            drive away; to repel. --Shak.
     To turn down.
        (a) To fold or double down.
        (b) To turn over so as to conceal the face of; as, to turn
            down cards.
        (c) To lower, or reduce in size, by turning a valve,
            stopcock, or the like; as, turn down the lights.
     To turn in.
        (a) To fold or double under; as, to turn in the edge of
        (b) To direct inwards; as, to turn the toes in when
        (c) To contribute; to deliver up; as, he turned in a large
            amount. [Colloq.]
     To turn in the mind, to revolve, ponder, or meditate upon;
        -- with about, over, etc. " Turn these ideas about in your
        mind." --I. Watts.
     To turn off.
        (a) To dismiss contemptuously; as, to turn off a sycophant
            or a parasite.
        (b) To give over; to reduce.
        (c) To divert; to deflect; as, to turn off the thoughts
            from serious subjects; to turn off a joke.
        (d) To accomplish; to perform, as work.
        (e) (Mech.) To remove, as a surface, by the process of
            turning; to reduce in size by turning.
        (f) To shut off, as a fluid, by means of a valve,
            stopcock, or other device; to stop the passage of; as,
            to turn off the water or the gas.
     To turn one's coat, to change one's uniform or colors; to
        go over to the opposite party.
     To turn one's goods or To turn one's money, and the like,
        to exchange in the course of trade; to keep in lively
        exchange or circulation; to gain or increase in trade.
     To turn one's hand to, to adapt or apply one's self to; to
        engage in.
     To turn out.
        (a) To drive out; to expel; as, to turn a family out of
            doors; to turn a man out of office.
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                  I'll turn you out of my kingdom.  -- Shak.
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        (b) to put to pasture, as cattle or horses.
        (c) To produce, as the result of labor, or any process of
            manufacture; to furnish in a completed state.
        (d) To reverse, as a pocket, bag, etc., so as to bring the
            inside to the outside; hence, to produce.
        (e) To cause to cease, or to put out, by turning a
            stopcock, valve, or the like; as, to turn out the
     To turn over.
        (a) To change or reverse the position of; to overset; to
            overturn; to cause to roll over.
        (b) To transfer; as, to turn over business to another
        (c) To read or examine, as a book, while, turning the
            leaves. "We turned o'er many books together." --Shak.
        (d) To handle in business; to do business to the amount
            of; as, he turns over millions a year. [Colloq.]
     To turn over a new leaf. See under Leaf.
     To turn tail, to run away; to retreat ignominiously.
     To turn the back, to flee; to retreat.
     To turn the back on or
     To turn the back upon, to treat with contempt; to reject or
        refuse unceremoniously.
     To turn the corner, to pass the critical stage; to get by
        the worst point; hence, to begin to improve, or to
     To turn the die or To turn the dice, to change fortune.
     To turn the edge of or To turn the point of, to bend over
        the edge or point of so as to make dull; to blunt.
     To turn the head of or To turn the brain of, to make
        giddy, wild, insane, or the like; to infatuate; to
        overthrow the reason or judgment of; as, a little success
        turned his head.
     To turn the scale or To turn the balance, to change the
        preponderance; to decide or determine something doubtful;
        to tip the balance.
     To turn the stomach of, to nauseate; to sicken.
     To turn the tables, to reverse the chances or conditions of
        success or superiority; to give the advantage to the
        person or side previously at a disadvantage.
     To turn tippet, to make a change. [Obs.] --B. Jonson.
     To turn to profit, To turn to advantage, etc., to make
        profitable or advantageous.
     To turn turtle, to capsize bottom upward; -- said of a
        vessel. [Naut. slang]
     To turn under (Agric.), to put, as soil, manure, etc.,
        underneath from the surface by plowing, digging, or the
     To turn up.
        (a) To turn so as to bring the bottom side on top; as, to
            turn up the trump.
        (b) To bring from beneath to the surface, as in plowing,
            digging, etc.
        (c) To give an upward curve to; to tilt; as, to turn up
            the nose.
     To turn upon, to retort; to throw back; as, to turn the
        arguments of an opponent upon himself.
     To turn upside down, to confuse by putting things awry; to
        throw into disorder.
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              This house is turned upside down since Robin Ostler
              died.                                 --Shak.
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