adjective tu·mul·tu·ous \ tu̇-ˈməl-chə-wəs , 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





Examples of tumultuous in a Sentence

  1. For someone with such a tumultuous inner world, the muscular choice-is-all school of moral philosophy could not be satisfactory. —Martha C. NussbaumNew Republic31 Dec. 2001
  2. 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 HadleyGive Me the World(1958) 1999
  3. The teams walked onto the field to tumultuous applause. —J. K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets1999
  4. 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
  5. The returning astronauts were given a tumultuous welcome.

  6. The room filled with tumultuous applause.

Recent Examples of tumultuous from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of tumultuous

see tumult

TUMULTUOUS Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of tumultuous for English Language Learners

  • : loud, excited, and emotional

  • : involving a lot of violence, confusion, or disorder

TUMULTUOUS Defined for Kids


adjective tu·mul·tu·ous \ tu̇-ˈməl-chə-wəs , tyu̇- \

Definition of tumultuous for Students

: characterized by uproar
  • a tumultuous welcome

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


formed or used for a special purpose

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-dog-in-snow-jumping-to-grab-a-heart-shaped-balloon-the-snow-and-heart-balloon-indicate-that-the-month-being-represented-is-april-and-the-dog-is-just-kinda-cute
  • Which is a synonym of sanguine?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!