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 Negotiations over the amount have been tumultuous every year since and have threatened to shut down the state as supporters of the traditional formula clash with lawmakers who prefer a smaller amount that fits within a balanced budget. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, 30 May 2021 As Jernigan-Noesi, the psychologist, noted, the conversations and actions led by Black people and shared by everyone are shaping the future, even if the process is tumultuous. NBC News, 25 May 2021 Season 18 of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was notably tumultuous, marked by a troubling new antagonist for the reality family to take on: COVID-19. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 22 May 2021 Yet despite the staggering success, the past year has been tumultuous. Yue Wang, Forbes, 20 May 2021 Of course, there are plenty of naysayers who claim that Saturn returns aren’t real, that the period of time between ages 27 and 29 are naturally tumultuous, something that has more to do with that stage of life than planetary movements. Mirel Zaman, refinery29.com, 27 Apr. 2021 The past year has been particularly tumultuous for Cirque du Soleil, which laid off 95 percent of its work force, filed for bankruptcy and subsequently reorganized under new ownership. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, 21 Apr. 2021 The arts will be tumultuous, and there are a lot of unknowns right now. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Mar. 2021 If the surface is steadier, maybe what’s underneath is more tumultuous. Oliver Munday, The Atlantic, 13 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for tumultuous

Time Traveler

The first known use of tumultuous was circa 1548

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Statistics for tumultuous

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tumultuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tumultuous. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for tumultuous



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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