Definitions

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

  • adjective Shapely.
  • adjective Concisely or aptly expressed.
  • adjective Expertly rounded or turned.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Accurately turned or rounded: as, a well-turned column.
  • Dexterously turned or fashioned; well-rounded; aptly constructed: as, a well-turned sentence or compliment.

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

  • adjective Having a pleasing shape
  • adjective of language Pleasingly expressed
  • adjective of woodwork Expertly turned on a lathe

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

  • adjective of a pleasing shape
  • adjective (of language) aptly and pleasingly expressed

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Since Dante is a compendium of the middle ages, bringing together its theology and philosophy as well as its poetry, liturgy and music, this was more that a well-turned phrase.

    Prof. Otto A. Bird, requiescat in pace

  • Mainstream comedy was more reliant on the well-turned gag, but – in the words of old-school doyen Frank Carson – "it's the way I tell 'em" that made the comedy funny.

    Standup has grown up – but that doesn't mean it is great literature

  • Beyoncé would come out and lead all who performed — spoken and sung — in a well-turned “America, The Beautiful”, with Stevie chiming in on harmonica and everyone else assembled, including many on the Mall proper filling in “We Are The World” style in unison.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • Since Dante is a compendium of the middle ages, bringing together its theology and philosophy as well as its poetry, liturgy and music, this was more that a well-turned phrase.

    Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog:

  • Reading other writers has had the most impact on me: I still thrill at a well-turned sentence.

    “I don’t understand the vogue for stripped-down sentences.” « PubliCola

  • Beyoncé would come out and lead all who performed — spoken and sung — in a well-turned “America, The Beautiful”, with Stevie chiming in on harmonica and everyone else assembled, including many on the Mall proper filling in “We Are The World” style in unison.

    Every Voice Lifted And Singing

  • Now Mr. Dubus chronicles the desperation of his own hardscrabble upbringing in the post-industrial mill towns of Massachusetts, where he brawled away his youth before he realized that a well-turned sentence offered more satisfaction than a cleanly landed right cross.

    Bareknuckle Beginnings

  • Since Dante is a compendium of the middle ages, bringing together its theology and philosophy as well as its poetry, liturgy and music, this was more that a well-turned phrase.

    Art and Literature

  • He had total recall for dialogue, and launched into long, louche stories about his social experiences, spinning off in colourful tangents "There's a subtext here you may not know about", always coming back, as in a well-turned essay, to his narrative – very funny, wildly indiscreet but never, ever malicious.

    My hero: Victoria Glendinning on John Gross

  • Since Dante is a compendium of the middle ages, bringing together its theology and philosophy as well as its poetry, liturgy and music, this was more that a well-turned phrase.

    Education

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