adjective tur·bu·lent \-lənt\

: moving in an irregular or violent way

: full of confusion, violence, or disorder : not stable or steady

Full Definition of TURBULENT

:  causing unrest, violence, or disturbance <a set of mischievous, turbulent rebels — Anne Brönte>
a :  characterized by agitation or tumult :  tempestuous <a turbulent marriage>
b :  exhibiting physical turbulence <turbulent air>
tur·bu·lent·ly adverb

Examples of TURBULENT

  1. Turbulent waters caused the boat to capsize.
  2. The sixties were a turbulent period in American history.


Latin turbulentus, from turba confusion, crowd — more at turbid
First Known Use: 1538

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms

monsoon, occlusion, ozone, rime, squall, zephyr
TURBULENTLY Defined for Kids


adjective tur·bu·lent \ˈtər-byə-lənt\

Definition of TURBULENT for Kids

:  causing or being in a state of unrest, violence, or disturbance <turbulent protests> <turbulent weather>

Word Root of TURBULENT

The Latin word turba, meaning disorder, gives us the root turb. Words from the Latin turba have something to do with disorder. To disturb is to cause disorder to something or to someone's feelings. To perturb, or trouble, is to cause disorder to someone's mind. Anything turbulent is in a state of violence or disorder.


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