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 final week leading up to a crucial match against Portugal was tumultuous, to say the least for La Roja. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "Spain, Portugal thrill, Mexico, Iceland suprise and the best of the World Cup weekend," 17 June 2018 Manziel has been working diligently to make a comeback in the NFL following a tumultuous -- and brief -- stint in the league. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Johnny Manziel is back to football after signing Canada league’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats," 19 May 2018 The Great Cultural Revolution was the most tumultuous, and bloodiest, ’60s event. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "Looking back on the upheaval of the ’60s," 15 May 2018 The following year, 1968, would be one of the most tumultuous in American history, with the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Two old friends share stories of erasing racial lines in Baltimore," 12 Mar. 2018 After decades of labor peace and undeniable prosperity, Major League Baseball players have experienced a tumultuous few years. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "MLB players survey: Sounding off on umps, shifts, steroids - and whether to strike back," 28 June 2018 There is obviously a lot to talk about with Sandberg, who oversees the Silicon Valley social media giant’s business operations, and Schroepfer, who leads tech strategies there, about its tumultuous year. Kara Swisher, Recode, "Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Mike Schroepfer are coming to Code (to explain it all for us)," 10 May 2018 Monkey Paw had a tumultuous year — new brewers and new owners (it’s now part of Coronado Brewing’s empire). Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Winning the World: Local brewers take global honors," 10 May 2018 After a tumultuous year in stormy seas, Tesla is making progress toward a safe harbor. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Tesla Ramps Up Model 3 Production and Predicts Profits This Fall," 2 May 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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Statistics for tumultuous

Last Updated

6 May 2019

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Time Traveler for tumultuous

The first known use of tumultuous was circa 1548

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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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Comments on tumultuous

What made you want to look up tumultuous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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