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

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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

Since then, Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, has taken center stage in the nation's tumultuous political life. Fox News, "Stormy Daniels returns to Long Island strip club for appearance," 2 Oct. 2018 An unassuming yet assertive brunette, Judith understands the challenges of a tumultuous childhood. Erin Quinn-kong, Woman's Day, "This Texas Organization Uses Books to Reconnect Female Prison Inmates With Their Children," 23 Aug. 2018 SUBSCRIBE TODAY Read More Snyder's-Lance had a tumultuous 105th year. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Shares of Charlotte snack maker's parent soar after reports of a potential sale," 25 June 2018 The commitment is significant for Louisville: Nickelberry is the first high school prospect to pick the Cards since Mack took the helm after several tumultuous years for the program. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Chris Mack's staff lands first 2019 commitment for Louisville basketball," 31 May 2018 The image of priests burning draft records in a parking lot stunned Americans in what had already been a tumultuous year. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Woodbine resident recalls her role in Catonsville Nine protest," 17 May 2018 Here's a look back at their tumultuous past. » Check out the latest movie reviews from Michael Phillips and the Chicago Tribune. Kevin Williams, chicagotribune.com, "Tunes for cash-strapped times — six shows for less than $50," 20 Mar. 2018 While there is no apparent motive for why Hollie killed his wife, the couple did share a tumultuous and difficult past, one marred by death threats and violence, according to neighbors, the daughter of Poellnitz, and court documents. Christopher Harress, AL.com, "Three dead as Mobile mourns fallen police officer," 21 Feb. 2018 Jelena fans were buzzing all over Twitter, expressing everything from excitement that the couple, who has had a bit of a tumultuous past, looks happier than ever to emotional nostalgia for 2011, when the couple began their romance. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Justin Bieber Brought Selena Gomez to His Dad's Wedding & Fans Melted," 20 Feb. 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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Last Updated

28 Jan 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 , tyu̇-\

Kids Definition of tumultuous

: characterized by uproar a tumultuous welcome

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