take a turn for the better

Idioms & Phrases

take a turn for the better

Improve, as in We thought she was on her deathbed but now she's taken a turn for the better. The antonym is take a turn for the worse, meaning "get worse, deteriorate," as in Unemployment has been fairly low lately, but now the economy's taken a turn for the worse. This idiom employs turn in the sense of "a reversal," a usage dating from about 1600.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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