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 The Year 2020: Matters of Life and Breath By any measure, the first three years of the Trump administration had been tumultuous. James West Davidson, The Atlantic, "A First Draft of a History-Textbook Entry for the Year 2020," 9 July 2020 The past few years have been tumultuous for corporate supply chain managers. Marc Bain, Quartz, "Supply chain leaders are itching to get out of China," 2 July 2020 This year's tax filing season has been tumultuous for both taxpayers and the IRS because of the coronavirus pandemic. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, ""Extreme delays" for millions of taxpayers awaiting IRS refunds," 30 June 2020 After a tumultuous early spring, highlighted by a deadly Easter weekend across the South, May and June were unusually quiet for tornadoes. Isabella Redjai, USA TODAY, "There were 248 tornadoes across US in May and June. That's one of the lowest numbers in recorded history.," 11 July 2020 The moves come after an especially tumultuous couple of weeks for the app, which is one of the most-downloaded in the U.S. and is wildly popular with teens. Shelly Banjo, Fortune, "TikTok considers corporate structure changes in an effort to distance itself from China," 9 July 2020 Former 49ers’ wide receiver Jeremy Kerley said Kelly was a calming force in the locker room and handled the situation about as well as could be expected during the tumultuous time in 2016. oregonlive, "Chip Kelly helped the San Francisco 49ers ‘bond’ after Colin Kaepernick started kneeling in 2016," 8 July 2020 Building, or rebuilding, one's own confidence during a globally tumultuous time can mean working in our own areas of confidence. Ryan Prior, CNN, "How to find resilience during the coronavirus pandemic," 2 July 2020 This is the same hope that will usher us all through the tumultuous torrent that is the terror of this uncertainty. Michael Heim, al, "Michael Heim, McGill-Toolen Catholic High School," 19 June 2020

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

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tumultuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tumultuous. Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for tumultuous


How to pronounce tumultuous (audio)

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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