turbulent

adjective
tur·​bu·​lent | \ ˈtər-byə-lənt How to pronounce turbulent (audio) \

Definition of turbulent

1a : exhibiting physical turbulence turbulent air
b : characterized by agitation or tumult : tempestuous a turbulent marriage
2 : causing unrest, violence, or disturbance a set of mischievous, turbulent rebels— Anne Brönte

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Other Words from turbulent

turbulently adverb

Did You Know?

Some people lead turbulent lives, and some are constantly in the grip of turbulent emotions. The late 1960s are remembered as turbulent years of social revolution in America and Europe. Often the captain of an airplane will warn passengers to fasten their seatbelts because of upper-air turbulence, which can make for a bumpy ride. El Niño, a seasonal current of warm water in the Pacific Ocean, may create turbulence in the winds across the United States, affecting patterns of rainfall and temperature as well.

Examples of turbulent in a Sentence

Turbulent waters caused the boat to capsize. The sixties were a turbulent period in American history.

Recent Examples on the Web

Instead, Lyons is testing her mettle in the turbulent world of media. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Jenna Lyons, the former powerhouse behind J.Crew, finally announced her next move," 9 Oct. 2018 His efforts to get the family out of the Netherlands to the U.S. likely started as early as 1938 — a turbulent year in which Nazi Germany annexed Austria and part of Czechoslovakia into the Third Reich. NBC News, "Anne Frank's family tried to escape to U.S. but hit immigration roadblocks," 6 July 2018 His efforts to get the family out of the Netherlands to the U.S. likely started as early as 1938 — a turbulent year in which Nazi Germany annexed Austria and part of Czechoslovakia into the Third Reich. Washington Post, "Anne Frank’s family tried to escape to US, hit roadblocks," 6 July 2018 Bendapudi arrived May 15 to lead U of L after a turbulent two years marked by the controversial departures of former President James Ramsey, longtime athletic director Tom Jurich and men's basketball coach Rick Pitino. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "New U of L president's first challenges: Fill vacant, high-level jobs," 2 July 2018 The man of the night though was McIngvale, who was honored for his various good deeds over Houston's past turbulent year. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "International 'Dressed to Kilt' fashion show makes Houston debut with Mattress Mack, Marcus Luttrell," 9 Apr. 2018 But during the most turbulent years of the civil rights movement, Dr. King never publicly uttered the poet’s name. Jason Miller, Smithsonian, "In His Speeches, MLK Carefully Evoked the Poetry of Langston Hughes," 3 Apr. 2018 Recent statements from Beijing and Delhi show the two governments are seeking to mend ties after a turbulent year in bilateral relations. Sugam Pokharel, CNN, "Dalai Lama caught in the middle as India and China reboot ties," 30 Mar. 2018 Despite some turbulent times, Amy and Matt have both moved on for the better. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Real Reason Why 'Little People, Big World' Stars Amy and Matt Roloff Divorced," 10 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'turbulent.' 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 turbulent

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for turbulent

Latin turbulentus, from turba confusion, crowd — more at turbid

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Statistics for turbulent

Last Updated

26 May 2019

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Time Traveler for turbulent

The first known use of turbulent was in 1538

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More Definitions for turbulent

turbulent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of turbulent

: moving in an irregular or violent way
: full of confusion, violence, or disorder : not stable or steady

turbulent

adjective
tur·​bu·​lent | \ ˈtər-byə-lənt How to pronounce turbulent (audio) \

Kids Definition of turbulent

: causing or being in a state of unrest, violence, or disturbance turbulent protests turbulent weather

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