tu·​mul·​tu·​ous | \ tu̇-ˈməl-chə-wəs How to pronounce tumultuous (audio) , tyu̇-, tə-, -chəs; -ˈməlch-wəs\

Definition of tumultuous

1 : marked by tumult : loud, excited, and emotional tumultuous applause
2 : tending or disposed to cause or incite a tumult the laws … were violated by a tumultuous faction— Edward Gibbon
3 : marked by violent or overwhelming turbulence or upheaval tumultuous passions

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tumultuous

tumultuously adverb
tumultuousness noun

Examples of tumultuous in a Sentence

For someone with such a tumultuous inner world, the muscular choice-is-all school of moral philosophy could not be satisfactory. — Martha C. Nussbaum, New Republic, 31 Dec. 2001 The tumultuous sensual undercurrent of the Orient had, like water in the desert, gone underground and though perhaps it bubbled up behind courtyard walls, in public places it kept out of sight. — Leila Hadley, Give Me the World, (1958) 1999 The teams walked onto the field to tumultuous applause. — J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999 We were not accustomed to loran, and to pick up a buoy, as I now did with my binoculars, after thirty days of tumultuous seas, at precisely the time and angle that our charted position led us to anticipate, struck me as nothing short of miraculous. — Louis Auchincloss, "Atlantic War," in Authors at Sea, Robert Shenk, ed.1997 The returning astronauts were given a tumultuous welcome. The room filled with tumultuous applause.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In hiring Rudoren, a former Jerusalem bureau chief for The Times, The Forward is taking another step past a tumultuous period. BostonGlobe.com, "Coca-Cola stock boosted by sales of less sugary drinks," 25 July 2019 Huffman’s return coincided with a tumultuous period, beset by infighting between employees and the volunteer moderators who effectively run the site. Jason Karaian, Quartz, "Reddit’s CEO shares his favorite subreddits," 1 July 2019 The investigation follows a tumultuous period for the FBI and the inspector general recently issued a series of reports that criticized multiple FBI officials for accepting tickets to sporting events from members of the media. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "DOJ Examines Whether FBI Officials Acted Inappropriately by Attending Dodgers Game," 27 June 2019 Millions of mainland Chinese fled for Hong Kong in the late 1950s through 1970s in a tumultuous period that spawned mass famine and political upheaval. Emily Steel, New York Times, "Hong Kong Was a Refuge for Mainland Chinese. The Extradition Bill Could Change That.," 18 June 2019 Remember, this was one of the most tumultuous periods of time in the last century. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Opinion: 50 years ago, the 1969 Mets helped heal a nation in turmoil," 15 June 2019 The behind-the-scenes scramble portends more complicated days ahead after more than a week of tumultuous street protests and a series of resignations left the government in chaos. Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, "Uncertainty Over Puerto Rico Governor’s Successor Could Lead to More Unrest," 25 July 2019 And in a fairly gratuitous side plot, Craig has a tumultuous romance going with working-class Londoner Zara (Sophia La Porta)—as in the multinational retail chain. Judy Berman, Time, "Four Weddings and a Funeral," 24 July 2019 Le’Veon Bell’s signing represents the highlight of a tumultuous offseason for the Jets, who aimed to upgrade Sam Darnold’s supporting cast. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Old faces in new places, contract watches highlight top story lines as NFL camps open," 24 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tumultuous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of tumultuous

circa 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tumultuous

see tumult

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tumultuous

Dictionary Entries near tumultuous








Statistics for tumultuous

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tumultuous

The first known use of tumultuous was circa 1548

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tumultuous



English Language Learners Definition of tumultuous

: loud, excited, and emotional
: involving a lot of violence, confusion, or disorder


tu·​mul·​tu·​ous | \ tu̇-ˈməl-chə-wəs How to pronounce tumultuous (audio) , tyu̇-\

Kids Definition of tumultuous

: characterized by uproar a tumultuous welcome

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on tumultuous

What made you want to look up tumultuous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!