tur·​bu·​lence | \ ˈtər-byə-lən(t)s How to pronounce turbulence (audio) \

Definition of turbulence

: the quality or state of being turbulent: such as
a : great commotion or agitation emotional turbulence
b : irregular atmospheric motion especially when characterized by up-and-down currents
c : departure in a fluid from a smooth flow

Examples of turbulence in a Sentence

The plane hit quite a bit of turbulence during our flight. A period of turbulence preceded the riots.
Recent Examples on the Web Riley’s heroines, especially First Love’s Neve, seem to end up, inevitably, in relationships that mirror the turbulence of their childhoods. Catherine Lacey, The Atlantic, 19 Sep. 2022 And the turbulence of the Reformation gets a lot of arch nods, which are all the funnier in the slangy phrasing of queens who are essentially preening Billboard goddesses. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 15 July 2022 Much of her music navigates the turbulence of love with a distinct, wry humor. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, 16 June 2022 Even though the jet’s average speed would approach 564 miles per hour, the hardest part of the project was ensuring the metal could survive the turbulence of being inside consumer’s wallets, AmEx said. BostonGlobe.com, 16 June 2022 The turbulence of the last few months has disrupted projects big and small, and has hampered the country’s transition to renewable energy — one of the Biden administration’s top priorities. Drew Kann, ajc, 7 June 2022 Crisis management has been top of mind for many CFOs amid the turbulence of Covid and its resultant shocks to consumer spending. Jeff Thomson, Forbes, 13 May 2022 Over Zoom, the mood proved light and fun yet introspective, tinged with the turbulence of two years ago — live shows were Ellevator’s lifeblood and driving force, honed during years crisscrossing Canada. Beau Hayhoe, SPIN, 11 May 2022 Shakespeare’s play will be directed by Henry Godinez, who is from Havana and sets the story in the turbulence of 1959 Cuba before Fidel Castro assumes power. Doug George, Chicago Tribune, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'turbulence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of turbulence

1595, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for turbulence

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The first known use of turbulence was in 1595

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Statistics for turbulence

Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Turbulence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turbulence. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for turbulence


tur·​bu·​lence | \ ˈtər-byə-ləns How to pronounce turbulence (audio) \

Kids Definition of turbulence

: irregular movements of air currents The ride got rough when the plane hit turbulence.


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