from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A mechanical device used to limit the passage of individuals moving from one public area to another to one at a time, consisting of a vertical post or frame with several bars that project from it and revolve at the same point, with the bar in the highest position being parallel to the floor.
  • noun A similar structure that permits the passage of an individual once a charge has been paid or that counts the number of individuals passing through.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A post surmounted by four horizontal arms which move round as a person passes through; a turnpike.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A revolving frame in a footpath, preventing the passage of horses or cattle, but admitting that of persons; a turnpike. See turnpike, n., 1.
  • noun A similar arrangement for registering the number of persons passing through a gateway, doorway, or the like.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A rotating mechanical device that controls and counts passage between public areas, especially one that only allows passage after a charge has been made.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a gate consisting of a post that acts as a pivot for rotating arms; set in a passageway for controlling the persons entering


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

turn (rotating) + stile (gate)



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  • Perhaps he is in charge of the turnstile, the palm of his hand constantly grey from receiving pennies.

    - Peter Reading, C, 1984

    July 4, 2008