'To Turn on a Dime' Meaning and Examples

To turn on a dime is to change direction quickly (literally or figuratively). This expression can describe strategies, mood, psychology, attitudes, prices, or many other things

To turn on a dime is to change direction quickly (literally or figuratively). This expression can describe strategies, mood, psychology, attitudes, prices, or many other things. For example, you can use turn on a dime when talking about:

  • sudden changes of direction with regard to vehicles (cars, boats, airplanes, etc.),
  • unexpected changes of opinion,
  • mood swings (rapid changes of mood),
  • moving to something different or new,
  • radical changes (attitude, personality, principles, management, etc.).

Understanding 'on a dime'

The dime is the smallest coin in diameter of the United States (17.91 mm). It is worth ten cents, or one tenth of a US dollar. The idiom to turn on a dime illustrates that a minimum radius turn is rapidly done.

Examples

  • Your new car model can turn on a dime.
  • Be careful, things can change and turn on a dime.
  • Your life can turn on a dime.
  • You should be flexible and turn on a dime when necessary.
  • Last week Sara was very angry and stressed, but she turned on a dime and now seems happy and cheerful.
  • Your software needs the ability to adapt and turn on a dime as new technologies evolve.
  • Institutions that have survived for a long time do not usually turn on a dime. They tend to keep their culture and principles.
  • The stock market has been bullish for three days, but it can turn on a dime.
  • Yes, I plan to travel to Europe but if my boss wants me to stay, I will have to change my plans, that is, I will have to turn on a dime.
  • He is really stubborn, so don't expect him to turn on a dime.
  • John knows that his arguments are solid, so don't expect him to turn on a dime.
  • Rebecca has always believed in God. She is not to turn on a dime now.
  • What goes up must come down. In other words, things can turn on a dime.
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