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 In Congress, Biden's challenges are rooted in the narrow majorities held by Democrats in both chambers -- the same margins that Democrats fear could be at stake if the current turbulence extends into midterm election season. Kevin Liptak, Phil Mattingly And Jeff Zeleny, CNN, 20 July 2021 The biggest turbulence can be found—again—in the crypto markets. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 8 July 2021 The commissioned work refers to the flow of water, how its push and pull recalls climate change and the current socio-political turbulence. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 23 June 2021 Google also hit turbulence in Washington soon after Mr. Trump’s election. Julie Bykowicz, WSJ, 17 June 2021 Just freedom to move about the cabin without turbulence. Rebecca Woolf, refinery29.com, 17 June 2021 Aircraft-modification company GDC Technics has hit some turbulence in charting a path to possibly emerge from bankruptcy or complete a sale of the business. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, 16 June 2021 Tatum took another step toward superstardom, and the fact that his five-year contract extension does not even start until next year is the primary reason Boston’s future remains bright despite recent turbulence. BostonGlobe.com, 11 June 2021 That worked until one founding member of fsATC, like a pilot flouting the directions of air traffic control, decided to go rogue and veered directly into turbulence that shook the whole community. Aj Dellinger, Wired, 26 May 2021

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.

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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

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Turbulence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turbulence. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for turbulence



English Language Learners Definition of turbulence

: sudden, violent movements of air or water
: a state of confusion, violence, or disorder


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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