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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Gomez and Bieber had a tumultuous relationship spanning several years, with many breakups and makeups in between. Glamour, "Selena Gomez Quietly Removed Her Last Justin Bieber Post From Instagram," 9 June 2019 John and his mother, Sheila, also had a tumultuous relationship throughout his childhood and adult life. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "18 Things You Didn't Know About Rocketman, But Need To," 5 June 2019 Remember how the tumultuous relationship between the former foes two began? Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Will the Cleganebowl Be Sparked by Arya Dying on 'Game of Thrones'?," 6 May 2019 If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Rosen will replace Rod Rosenstein, who tried for two years to steady the department and its tumultuous relationship with the White House. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "White House Picks Jeffrey Rosen for Deputy Attorney General," 19 Feb. 2019 The cast is the highlight of the series, especially Clarkson as Adora, the matriarch of a vast Southern estate who has a tumultuous relationship with her daughter Camille. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: Amy Adams' 'Sharp Objects' needs to be sharper to make its point," 5 July 2018 After waking up one morning during their tumultuous relationship, Cardi says the couple looked at one another and decided to get married right then and there, with only Cardi’s cousin as a witness. Mariah Smith, The Cut, "A Detailed History of Cardi B and Offset’s Tumultuous Relationship," 27 June 2018 Court documents also describe a tumultuous relationship between the two. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, "Remains found in 1991 identified as those of missing Arlington woman," 13 June 2018 Meek Mill and Judge Genece Brinkley’s long, tumultuous relationship isn’t over yet. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Temple tackles rare heart transplant, Lower Merion public garden at risk | Morning Newsletter," 13 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of tumultuous

circa 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tumultuous

see tumult

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Statistics for tumultuous

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for tumultuous

The first known use of tumultuous was circa 1548

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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

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