tu·​mul·​tu·​ous tu̇-ˈməl-chə-wəs How to pronounce tumultuous (audio)
: marked by tumult : loud, excited, and emotional
tumultuous applause
: tending or disposed to cause or incite a tumult
the laws … were violated by a tumultuous factionEdward Gibbon
: marked by violent or overwhelming turbulence or upheaval
tumultuous passions
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 The cuts at BuzzFeed come amid a tumultuous media market, as Omer alluded to in his statement. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Feb. 2024 The film packs the tumultuous events of the day into two hours, portraying dizzying waves of shifting loyalties. Joan MacDonald, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Episodes skip forward and backward, tracing the story of a tumultuous time and the ideological schisms that caused the Civil War and continued long after it. Sarah Crompton, Vogue, 20 Feb. 2024 And as this enthusiasm continues to grow stateside—and as other markets contract around tumultuous economic and geopolitical circumstances—brands are investing heavily in the United States. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 20 Feb. 2024 Mosby’s tenure as council president has been at times tumultuous. Emily Opilo, Baltimore Sun, 10 Feb. 2024 Recent years have proved tumultuous for some of Usher’s R&B contemporaries, like R. Kelly and Chris Brown, whose controversies have overshadowed their craft. Cady Lang, TIME, 6 Feb. 2024 The couple, whose tumultuous love story has been chronicled on the TLC show, marked five years since their wedding this week. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 1 Feb. 2024 For such a small artifact, the stone vial from Jiroft, Iran, had a tumultuous history. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 8 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tumultuous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see tumult

First Known Use

circa 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tumultuous was circa 1548

Dictionary Entries Near tumultuous

Cite this Entry

“Tumultuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tumultuous. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


tu·​mul·​tu·​ous t(y)u̇-ˈməlch-(ə-)wəs How to pronounce tumultuous (audio)
: being or suggesting a tumult
a tumultuous welcome for the astronauts
tumultuously adverb

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