Turn Aside – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to avert, direct or deflect something or someone on another course" You could say, "turn aside" to get them moving in another direction? This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression "turn aside" means to refuse entry or turn someone away from a venue or place. It means to cause something or someone to deviate from their current direction in life or the direction they're traveling in.

"Turn aside" means moving away from your current course. The saying means to avoid something or someone or to change your position physically or ideologically.

Example Usage

"Never turn aside from your path in life. It's important to stay the course and make things happen for yourself, even in the face of adversity. If you put in the time and effort, eventually you'll experience the reward you're looking for in life."

"Moses turned aside, and God spoke to him through the burning bush, much to his surprise and wonder about the situation."

"The company turned aside his job application after discovering he had a criminal record for robbery. There are no second chances for those felonies, and he's forever outside the conventional workplace."

"The CEO turned aside the most critical questions when the media grilled him about the company's quarterly earnings."

"The judge turned aside the new evidence brought before him by the prosecutor. He deemed it invalid and instructed the jury to disregard it from their verdict deliberation."

"I saw my old girlfriend from college the other day at Walmart. She looked at me and turned aside before I had the chance to greet her. She must be holding one heck of a grudge against me."

"Kim and her friends were so excited about going to the grand opening of the new club on High Street. But the bouncer turned them away at the door because it was only over 25s allowed inside, and they were underage."

"Samantha turned aside a prosperous career as a lawyer for a few years so she could have a family with her husband. After three kids, she's ready to return to the workforce, but no one wants to hire her."

"We understood her decision to turn aside the opportunity to get on stage, but we don't agree with it. She's damaging her career and future prospects by making these silly decisions."

"Conspiracy theorists will turn aside from listening to the science. Instead, they'll embrace ideologies and pseudoscience that fits their frame of reference."


The expression "turn aside" has unknown origins. Language experts cannot pinpoint who coined the term or when it appeared in language for the first time. However, some believe the phrase has religious origins and was used in sermons by preachers when speaking to their congregations.

Phrases Similar to Turn Aside

  • Avoid.
  • Deter.
  • Fend off.
  • forestall.
  • Preclude.

Phrases Opposite to Turn Aside

  • Welcome.
  • Embrace.
  • Let through.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Turn aside.

Ways People May Say Turn Aside Incorrectly

The phrase "turn aside" is often used in religious language or parables. However, it's not the only use of the idiom. The term suits any situation where you want to turn attention or actions away from a specific object or person.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Turn Aside

You can use the expression "turn aside" when you want to tell people to veer or move away or avoid something or someone. It also refers to turning people away from a venue or event or changing positions. The term suits professional and social situations.

For instance, you could use it at work to explain how you had to turn aside your feelings when dealing with an angry customer. Or you could use it with your friends to describe how the bouncer turned your friend aside at the door because they were underage for the club. You can use "turn aside" in text-based communications and verbal exchanges.

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