[ turn-kee ]

/ ˈtɜrnˌki /

SEE SYNONYMS FOR turnkey ON THESAURUS.COM

noun, plural turn·keys.

a person who has charge of the keys of a prison; jailer.

adjective

Also turn-key . of, relating to, or resulting from an arrangement under which a private contractor designs and constructs a project, building, etc., for sale when completely ready for occupancy or operation: turn-key housing, turnkey contract.

fully equipped; ready to go into operation: a turnkey business.

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Origin of turnkey

First recorded in 1645–55; turn + key1

Words nearby turnkey

turn in one’s grave, turnip, turnip cabbage, turnip moth, turnip-rooted celery, turnkey, turnkey project, turnkey system, turnoff, turn of phrase, turn of the century

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for turnkey

  • The person who accompanied him was a simple lackey, named Ebenezer Radburn, who acted merely in the capacity of turnkey.

    Twelve Years a Slave|Solomon Northup

  • I asked his name next day, but the turnkey laughed, and said it was none of my business.

    Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker|S. Weir Mitchell

  • The turnkey had now two points to put to the professional gentlemen as they passed in and out.

    Little Dorrit|Charles Dickens

  • At last the turnkey stopped before a door, inserted a key in the lock, and opened it.

    Out with Garibaldi|G. A. Henty

  • A sign of animation seemed to come into the turnkey’s face, but he did not move nor seek to question her.

    Robert Tournay|William Sage

British Dictionary definitions for turnkey

turnkey

/ (ˈtɜːnˌkiː) /

noun

archaic a keeper of the keys, esp in a prison; warder or jailer

adjective

denoting a project, as in civil engineering, in which a single contractor has responsibility for the complete job from the start to the time of installation or occupancy

Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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