Definition of turn the tables in English:

turn the tables


  • Reverse one's position relative to someone else, especially by turning a position of disadvantage into one of advantage.

    ‘police invited householders to a seminar on how to turn the tables on burglars’
    • ‘In effect, less powerful countries have an increased ability to obstruct the major powers, but they are in no position to turn the tables.’
    • ‘He times it carefully, and quickly turns the tables on the hermit, pressing his attack and his advantage.’
    • ‘So researchers turned the tables on the cancer, taking advantage of a tumor's ability to attract the stem cells.’
    • ‘She was tired of men taking open advantage of women and decided to turn the tables.’
    • ‘But her kindness turns the tables on her cruel master.’
    • ‘Just when the book seems about to cross the border into out-and-out sadism, however, Elizabeth turns the tables on her stalker and strikes a blow for women everywhere.’
    • ‘Instead the operator turns the tables on the subscriber.’
    • ‘I think we're turning the tables on you, Howard.’
    • ‘Very often these games involve him turning the tables on us.’
    • ‘Having absorbed your comments on the state of journalism, I'm turning the tables.’