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

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 The index’s surge surprised many Wall Street banks that expected a much slower rebound from 2018’s turbulent finish. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "As Stocks Climb, Some Investors Wonder When to Get Out," 21 Apr. 2019 An outgrowth of a turbulent era, that year would come to define a generation and, ultimately, the nation. Eric Ginsburg, Teen Vogue, "How April 1968 Changed the United States Forever," 19 Apr. 2019 The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising times of hate. Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Died Because of Hatred. That Should Not Be Whitewashed," 4 Apr. 2019 If your makeup application has been a bit turbulent, try Sephora Collection's Ready-in-5 Face Brush Set, which contains three miniature brush essentials for a seamless finish. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Sagittarius Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 2018 At an investment conference on Monday, the chief executive officer of Snap Inc. offered some fresh perspective on the social network’s turbulent past two years as a public company. Laura Forman, WSJ, "Snap’s Investors Forgive, But They Won’t Forget," 26 Feb. 2019 In addition to these navigation and positioning challenges, the robot will be able to perform these search and manipulation objectives autonomously, even in dark, turbulent, and semi-opaque sea conditions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "DARPA Wants an Autonomous Drone That Can Do Dirty Work on the Ocean Floor," 1 Feb. 2019 The council action, on an 8-0 vote with five abstentions, capped a turbulent period at City Hall, where gay activists and fundamentalist Christian groups staged rallies and protests. Bill Turque, kansascity, "Michael D. Bates, KC human rights stalwart, dies at 70," 3 July 2018

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

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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