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

But the decade also brought turbulence for the singer/songwriter. Marie Milano, Country Living, "A Detailed Timeline of Lionel Richie's Marriages and Relationships," 3 Mar. 2019 The result is a device that could have huge implications for hundreds of thousands of military members, from sailors on a destroyer in rough seas to aerial refueling tanker crews flying through turbulence. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A New Electronic Device Could Cure the Military's Big Motion Sickness Problem," 22 Nov. 2018 When political turbulence swept through Germany in 1933, the school—then located in Berlin—closed. Todd Plummer, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 100-Year-Old German Art School That’s Still Influencing the Fashion World," 13 Feb. 2019 Its portrait of Rogers as a gentle man who preached kindness and tolerance as an antidote to the turbulence of the late 20th century seems to have struck a chord with viewers lamenting the harshness of politics and pop culture today. Beth J. Harpaz, chicagotribune.com, "It's a beautiful day in Pennsylvania on Mister Rogers' trail," 12 July 2018 The Star Wars franchise itself has been dealing with some recent turbulence. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Star Wars: Episode IX reportedly casts Keri Russell in an ‘action-heavy’ role," 6 July 2018 Plenty of investors believe the recent turbulence owes little to the Fed and more to a healthy reset for stock valuations that had climbed steadily to nosebleed heights. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Powell's problem: Will new Fed chair try to save stock market?," 9 Feb. 2018 Watford and Chelsea clash in the Premier League on Monday with both sides desperate for a good performance and a good result after recent turbulence at both London clubs. SI.com, "Watford vs Chelsea Match Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More," 5 Feb. 2018 The Happy House could have been lost forever in that turbulence. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "On Your Next Trip to Nepal, Rent the House Sir Edmund Hillary Loved," 20 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for turbulence

Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for turbulence

The first known use of turbulence was in 1595

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on turbulence

Spanish Central: Translation of turbulence

Nglish: Translation of turbulence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of turbulence for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about turbulence

Comments on turbulence

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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