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 Limbaugh’s announcement comes at a tumultuous political time, as the conclusion of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial nears. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Rush Limbaugh says he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer," 3 Feb. 2020 The teenager, raised by her adoptive parents Q.P. and Mary Ann Colvin, had never quite accepted what was status quo in the tumultuous times of segregation. al, "Claudette Colvin, the pregnant teen who fought Alabama bus segregation before Rosa Parks," 16 Jan. 2020 The resumption of extensive counterterrorism operations capped a tumultuous two months in which many of the nearly 1,000 US troops in northeastern Syria flew or drove out of the country under Trump’s withdrawal order. BostonGlobe.com, "MANAMA, Bahrain — US troops have resumed large-scale counterterrorism missions against the Islamic State group in northern Syria, military officials said, nearly two months after President Trump’s abrupt order to withdraw US troops opened the way for a bloody Turkish cross-border offensive.," 26 Nov. 2019 The news comes after a tumultuous month between the two companies. Teen Vogue, "Marvel and Sony Will Reunite for a Third "Spider-Man" Movie, and There's Already a Release Date," 27 Sep. 2019 His promises to rock the ship of state are now more than an abstract pledge, though, complicated by his tumultuous 29 months at its helm. Jonathan Lemire, chicagotribune.com, "Trump is announcing his reelection bid tonight. Can he still run as an outsider?," 18 June 2019 The University of Southern California named Wharton School political economist Geoffrey Garrett the new dean of its Marshall School of Business, capping a tumultuous seven months after administrators shortened the current dean’s contract. Kelsey Gee, WSJ, "USC Business School Names New Dean," 11 June 2019 The termination of Flynn’s attorneys came after a tumultuous few months. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "As Russian probe sentencing looms, Flynn fires his lawyers," 6 June 2019 Those two rivals topped the final tally out of Iowa, following a tumultuous rollout that has prompted calls for a recanvass, while Biden came in fourth place. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "Another 'gut punch'?: Joe Biden says 'I'll probably take a hit' in New Hampshire," 7 Feb. 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

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tumultuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tumultuous. Accessed 27 Feb. 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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