What does the idiom "out of turn" mean?

The expression out of turn is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the out of turn idiom.

Meaning of "out of turn"


The phrase “out of turn” is an idiom that is used to describe a situation where someone does something out of the expected order or in a non-standard sequence. In other words, it is used to describe a situation which is different from or contrary to the usual or expected order, sequence, or pattern.


The origin of the phrase “out of turn” is not entirely clear. It appears to be derived from the phrase “out of season”, which was likely first used in the 15th century. The phrase “out of turn” was first recorded in the 18th century, with the literal meaning of “to move (something) out of its usual or expected place”.


The phrase “out of turn” is most often used in informal contexts. It is commonly used to describe situations where one person or thing interrupts or interrupts the normal flow of events, usually in an unplanned or unexpected manner. For example, a child might interrupt a conversation by interjecting out of turn. It can also be used to describe someone who begins to do something before their turn, or someone who skips their turn and does something before someone else does.

Example Sentences

  • The teacher scolded the student for interjecting out of turn during the lecture.
  • She jumped the queue and got to the counter out of turn.
  • I can’t believe he started the race out of turn and won!
  • He tried to take the exam out of turn but was told that he had to wait his turn.

The meanings of the words in the "out of turn" idiom

Beyond the Literal: Figurative Language in Idioms

Idioms often use figurative language to convey a message that is not meant to be taken literally. For instance, the idiom "bite the bullet" means to endure a painful or difficult situation without complaint, while "hold your horses" means to be patient and wait. Other idioms, like "kick the bucket" or "pop your clogs," use euphemisms to talk about death.


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