Is Turn away someone and Turn someone away have the same meaning?

  • Yes, the two phrases mean essentially the same. I would use the first phrase if I were continuing the sentence (e.g., "He turned away the beggar from his door.") and the second if I were not continuing the sentence (e.g., "He turned the beggar away.") But that's just my personal preference. – tautophile Aug 2 '18 at 4:31

turn away is defined as, according to Merriam Webster:

to refuse admittance or acceptance to

to send away : reject, dismiss


deflect, avert

As for each individual form of the phrasal verb, they are synonymous with each other with no difference in terms of meaning. The only discrepancy between the two is how frequently used each of them are.

turn(ing) away someone does indeed exist, though not commonly used.

Example from Merriam Webster:

using tree branches, the campers were able to turn away the charging fox, which was apparently rabid

Example from TheFreeDictionary.com:

Extremely high prices in the area have been turning away would-be homeowners.

turn(ing) someone away is much more widely used, and is what many native speakers prefer.


The hiking real estate prices turn people away.

Example, from Collins Dict.:

Turning refugees away would be an inhumane action.

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