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

Women played a major role—both as candidates and voters—when Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives from Republicans in Tuesday’s tumultuous midterm elections. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Democrats Won Back the House—They Have Women to Thank for That," 7 Nov. 2018 What Don McGahn leaves behind Cipollone will be Trump’s second White House counsel, replacing McGahn, whose tenure was at times tumultuous. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Pat Cipollone is Trump’s new White House counsel," 17 Oct. 2018 Using rare archive footage of her performances, interviews and intimate scenes filmed over the years, the documentary expertly exposes the tumultuous but always fascinating life of a worldwide icon. 1:30 p.m. Sat. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Freep Film Festival 2018: Lineup is announced," 13 Mar. 2018 The last four seasons have been tumultuous both on and off screen, but 50 Cent’s hit Starz series pushes forward. Autumn Kelly, Newsweek, "‘Power’ Season 5 Release Date Confirmed Alongside Season 6 Renewal," 13 Mar. 2018 As a result of her brother’s sudden passing and her Broadway commitments, Feldstein has been largely absent from this year’s tumultuous and highly politicized awards scene, in which Lady Bird has racked up a string of major nods. Anna Silman, The Cut, "Beanie Feldstein Is a Champion Best Friend," 19 Jan. 2018 As in America, another large and tumultuous democracy, the Supreme Court plays an essential role not only as a final legal arbiter but also as a counterweight to the caprice of the executive and legislative branches. The Economist, "Bench pressJudges on India’s supreme court accuse the chief justice of bias," 18 Jan. 2018 The announcement comes amid a tumultuous chapter for the upstart service. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, "MoviePass starts charging extra to see movies at 'peak' times," 6 July 2018 Donald Trump’s White House has seen no shortage of tumult and turnover in its first year, but this week was even more tumultuous than usual. Tessa Berenson, Time, "This Was a Crazy Week for the White House," 2 Mar. 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

2 Dec 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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