Definition of turps in English:



mass nouninformal
  • Turpentine.

    • ‘Her eyes challenged me, potent, like a peregrine falcon's, but the beguiling scent of turps and linseed oil drew me to her canvas.’
    • ‘He works mainly in oils diluted with turps, sensuously creaming paint on to the canvas.’
    • ‘‘You must have drunk a lot of orange juice,’ he said, implying I would have been safer with turps.’
    • ‘Almost complete, Honister dominates a studio where massive brushes await the maestro's stroke and heavy smells of linseed oil and turps fill the still hot afternoon air.’
    • ‘I'm not sure if I need more turps, I'll have to check.’
    • ‘I've tasted bad coffee, but never anything that actually tasted of turps.’
    • ‘Ms Hood had a shaky start to her artistic career when she developed an allergy to turps.’
    • ‘Or he had rubbed against something like turps, or even been maliciously splashed with it.’
    • ‘After manipulating the digital image, Coderre then begins drawing the subject, or picture as he likes to call it, in oil pastel, wiping it away with turps, building up layer upon transparent layer.’
    • ‘The night Vine painted her now infamous Diana painting, the air was thick with the smell of turps, linseed oil and paint.’


  • on the turps

    • informal Drinking alcohol, especially in large quantities.

      ‘I can go to the pub and get on the turps’
      • ‘He has a sense of humour, applies himself to his work, loves sport, and enjoys a night on the turps with his brother and his mates.’
      • ‘It's not like I spent the weekend on the turps or anything—it was just one of those weeks where I was run down to a bare nub by Friday night.’
      • ‘Can you imagine anything better than a hot roast pork sandwich after a night on the turps?’
      • ‘Only a tiny minority of this group are daring enough to even contemplate another punishing night on the turps.’
      • ‘Getting on the turps was easy and relatively cheap.’
      • ‘After a nasty night on the turps, we headed for a recovery breakfast.’
      • ‘We got on the turps on Friday night and neither of us was much good on Saturday.’
      • ‘He can't remember much else about his night on the turps.’
      • ‘It only seems like yesterday he was throwing up in the back garden after a heavy night on the turps.’
      • ‘Christmas cheer has played a big part in this: these people have been on the turps all afternoon.’


Early 19th century: abbreviation.