to turn the tables

Idiom Definition

"to turn the tables"

to reverse a situation such that you go from a position of disadvantage to a position of advantage

Idiom Definition - to turn the tables


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to turn the tables

Two businessmen are talking about an upcoming negotiation with a supplier ...

Businessman 1:  Are you ready for the meeting?

Businessman 2:  I think so but it's going to be a difficult negotiation.

Businessman 1: Why is that?

Businessman 2:   Our supplier has the advantage in that they have the goods we need ready to ship and there aren't really any other suppliers in that position. We need those goods now in order to stay in business.

Businessman 1:  It looks as though the supplier has a definite advantage.  Let's see if we can find some way to turn the tables and change the situation to our advantage.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to turn the tables

Two friends are discussing an upcoming trip that their group of friends are planning ...

Friend 1:  I really don't want to go to the Grand Canyon again.  I would much rather go to Yosemite this trip.

Friend 2:  What can you do?  Gerry has most of the group convinced the Grand Canyon is the choice.

Friend 1:  But we've already been there and we haven't been to Yosemite.

Friend 2:  Perhaps there's a way to turn the tables and persuade the others in the group?

Friend 1:  Let's think about it and see if we can formulate a plan.

to turn the tables - Usage:


to turn the tables - Gerund Form:

Turning the tables can be a satisfying experience.

to turn the tables - Examples:

1)  The attorney general tried to turn the tables on his GOP critics, accusing them of engaging in " inflammatory and inappropriate rhetoric.

2)  Hey men, let's turn the tables and have the women pay.

3)  Fortunately, there's an alternative that lets you turn the tables on the IRS, paying an up-front cost now in order to save a whole lot later.

4)  If you've ever had a spider crawl on you, you can turn the tables: the exhibit has a climbable spider model that's 50 times life size.

5)  No, we were going to have to turn the tables here in a more pronounced and ironic direction.

6)  I think a better investment would be to turn the tables on our dating expectations.

7)  We had the opportunity recently to turn the tables on Tim, and put him on the other side of the interview.

8)  I think Obama believed that he could turn the tables on the Banks and become their master.

9)  Arrogantly, the current administration has made every effort to turn the tables on its people.

10)  Turn the tables but be careful and don't come across too aggressive, just curious.

11)  At this point I am really trying to turn the tables by making my accounts private and avoiding bringing all my negative emotions online.

12)  Moss is confident that he can turn the tables and become the hunter and Chigurh the hunted.

13)  What if you could turn the tables and actually have your ex begging YOU to come back?

14)  Sooner or later, I will turn the tables on this fellow.

15)  Instead of sitting at home waiting for him to get back, turn the tables and let him wait at home for you occasionally.

16)  I had to use all of my streetwise ability to turn the tables on him, threatening him with all the bad publicity the Daily Star could muster.

17)  I will control who gets access to it. That would turn the tables and leave me in control of the data.

18)  Sidelined volleyball players were outraged and set out to turn the tables by suing the university and arguing that cheer leading was not a sport.

19)  It would be fantastic to turn the tables after such a unanimous low point.

20)  Now she wants to turn the tables? What a slime ball.