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

After a tumultuous end to his tenure at LSU, 2017 was the first football season since 1979 in which Miles was not working as a football coach in some capacity. Brody Miller, NOLA.com, "Antoine Duplantis has been LSU baseball's rock his whole college career," 31 May 2018 The order was the latest twist in the tumultuous events leading up to Brazil’s presidential election in October. Ernesto Londoño, BostonGlobe.com, "Judge orders Brazil to release ex-president," 8 July 2018 And in a tumultuous time for college basketball, when the rhetoric from the NCAA's leadership implies a strong desire to start cracking down on recruiting, WKU is basically asking for more scrutiny. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Western Kentucky, Rick Stansbury invite skepticism with new hire," 5 July 2018 Conrado said his friend is excited and hopeful about becoming an American, despite her naturalization coming at a tumultuous political time. Brieanna J Frank, azcentral, "July 4th naturalization ceremony in Mesa welcomes 313 new citizens," 4 July 2018 The small number of first-day signups comes during a tumultuous time for the Iditarod. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "28 mushers enter 2019 Iditarod, the smallest first-day signup this century," 1 July 2018 Olens, who is now an attorney at Dentons in the firm’s public policy practice, was president of Kennesaw State University for a tumultuous year after leaving his state government post. Arielle Kass, ajc, "Fulton County hires former AG Olens to help solve property tax dispute," 22 June 2018 Buy Photo Amid songs and signs, with cheers, jeers and wistful words, the School Reform Commission took its final public actions Thursday night, capping 17 tumultuous years of governing the Philadelphia School District. Philly.com, "6,019 days after the SRC first convened, a final meeting," 21 June 2018 Lost in the aftermath of his death and the tumultuous events of the rest of 1968, is the matter of just how liberal Robert Kennedy really was. David Kaiser, Time, "Robert F. Kennedy Is Remembered as a Liberal Icon. Here's the Truth About His Politics," 5 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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Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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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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