I have read a sentence

The woman was drugged, and drunk, and, in consequence of these things, malicious to a turn.

I know "malicious" from Collins Dictionary

I can understand that the woman was drugged by someone, but after that she turned to malicious? Am I right? If that so, why not use "turned to malicious" ?


The writer of the sentence has used an expression to a turn that generally means to exactly the right degree.

The expression is most often applied to cooking. If sausages have been done to a turn, it means that they have been turned over on the grill just the right number of times and are now cooked perfectly.

Malicious to a turn is an unusual way of saying as nasty as can be.

It's not clear from the sentence whether the woman had taken drugs herself or whether they had been administered to her. Either way, she was deeply under the influence of drugs and alcohol and this state had brought out the worst in her character.



"To a turn" means to perfection. In that sentence, though, I suspect the author means something closer to "in every respect" or "thoroughly".

There's another expression, "at every turn" which would seem more applicable. It means on every occasion; continually, "...malicious at every turn."

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