Definition of turn something inside out in English:

turn something inside out


  • 1Turn the inner surface of something outwards.

    ‘she played with her gloves, turning each finger inside out’
    • ‘One of her favourite tricks was to turn a pair of her husband's trousers inside out and use them to make other garments.’
    • ‘I turned my pockets inside out but no money fell out, because I stuffed it all in my shoe.’
    • ‘This is rather like turning a sock inside out, only with the surface of the sock covered with numerous tiny hooks.’
    • ‘Petruchio, having declared it unfit for her, turned the right red cap inside out so that the brown lining was displayed.’
    • ‘I told him that I didn't have any money by turning the pockets of my shorts inside out.’
    • ‘Hand it to a knitter and they would look, admire and then turn it inside out to check out the steeks, whether you weave or carry your yarn, knot or splice and check out the stitching.’
    • ‘So the shirts were simply turned inside out and the players got on with the business of winning the game.’
    • ‘I've seen metal dustbins, old zinc baths, even car tyres turned inside out and planted up.’
    • ‘Turning something inside out reminds me of a wonderful book I read when I was a kid.’
    • ‘Helen turns her gloves inside out with a chopstick when she's finished for the day and throws them in the washing machine.’
    search, look through, hunt through, rummage in, rummage through, rifle through, dig into, ferret in, ferret about in, ferret around in, root about in, root around in, turn inside out
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    1. 1.1 Change something utterly.
      ‘it is not so easy to turn your whole life inside out’
      • ‘Monday's piece, ‘Best of Friends, Worlds Apart,’ by Mirta Ojito, turns another cliché inside out.’
      • ‘To her horror, though, Simone wins and strangles Guido, after which the drama is turned inside out and husband and wife are happily and implausibly reconciled.’
      • ‘Carter turns the system inside out for himself.’
      • ‘Camp is a world where the norms of society are turned upside down and inside out into a culture of its own.’
      • ‘Accordingly, architectural practice needs to be turned inside-out.’
      • ‘Yet even if this might be called a form of dialectic, it has been turned inside out.’
      • ‘So many ‘ordinary’ people have turned their lives inside out for us.’
      • ‘Wolf Parade forges an energetic and emotional style that effortlessly turns indie-songwriting conventions inside out then injects this imploded creation full of punk and soul - depending on how they're feeling at the time.’
      • ‘In the poem, Coleridge takes that ancient image of human purpose, the triumphant journey to master a world, and reverses it, turns it inside out.’
      • ‘They are hilarious because they use the motifs of Top Gun and Rent songs and turn them inside-out.’
      turn inside out
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    2. 1.2informal Cause utter confusion in; defeat totally.
      ‘he turned the defender inside out’
      • ‘Seol turns the Germans inside out on the left-hand side of the German area, and rolls an inviting ball into the path of Park.’
      • ‘He turned Mammadov inside out before crossing for Hartson to bring the ball down and smash it high into the roof of the net from an acute angle.’
      • ‘We were five points down but then turned them inside out and just gave it everything.’
      • ‘It will turn you inside out and expose the inner workings of your soul under a cruel microscope.’
      • ‘The stocky midfielder turned John Anderson inside out and kept his head well to slot the ball past Alexander.’