Definition of “churn” - English Dictionary

“churn” in British English

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uk /tʃɜːn/ us /tʃɝːn/

churn verb (MOVE/MIX)

[ T ] also churn up to move something, especially a liquid, with great force:

The sea was churned up by heavy winds.

[ T ] to mix milk until it becomes butter

[ I ] If your stomach is churning, you feel ill, usually because you are nervous:

I had my driving test that morning and my stomach was churning.

Phrasal verb(s)


uk /tʃɜːn/ us /tʃɝːn/

(Definition of “churn” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“churn” in American English

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churnverb [ I/T ]

us /tʃɜrn/

to move violently:

[ I ] The water was churning and the boat was rocking.
[ M ] The fish churned up the water when we threw them some food.
[ T ] fig. Seeing the car ahead flip over churned his stomach.

To churn butter means to beat cream until it turns into butter using a special container.

Phrasal verb(s)

churnnoun [ C ]

us /tʃɜrn/

a container in which cream is made into butter

(Definition of “churn” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“churn” in Business English

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churnnoun [ U ]

uk /tʃɜːn/ us also churning

COMMERCE, MARKETING the situation in which customers stop buying the products or services of a particular company, especially to buy them from a competitor:

Preventing customer churn is a major concern for mobile service providers, since 20-40% of customers leave their providers in a given year.

HR the situation in which employees leave their job and are replaced by new employees:

Employee churn for new hires increased by 33% for the third straight year.


uk /tʃɜːn/ us

[ I or T ] COMMERCE, MARKETING to stop buying the products or services of a particular company, especially in order to buy them from a competitor

[ T ] STOCK MARKET if stockbrokers churn investments or churn a client's account in order to make more money in commissions, they illegally buy and sell the client's investments more often than necessary:

The commission found that he violated the antifraud provisions of the securities laws when he churned three customer accounts.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “churn” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)