tur·​moil | \ˈtər-ˌmȯi(-ə)l \

Definition of turmoil 

: a state or condition of extreme confusion, agitation, or commotion

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Examples of turmoil in a Sentence

The country has been in turmoil for the past 10 years. a period of political turmoil His life has been in a constant turmoil.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Before the court ruling in March 2017 that upheld Park’s impeachment and formally drove her from office, South Korea was embroiled in its worst political turmoil in decades. Washington Post, "World Digest: July 10, 2018," 10 July 2018 But also, in the larger ‘verse, there are a million Carters, kids who can’t talk to their families about their emotional turmoil. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "The Fosters Moves Out: Saying Goodbye To TV's Most Temperate Family Drama," 7 June 2018 The Socialist Party and Podemos, which have been battling their own internal political turmoil, aren’t eager to hold general elections ahead of schedule. Jeannette Neumann, WSJ, "Spain’s Opposition Seeks to Oust Rajoy in Confidence Vote," 25 May 2018 His turmoil feels as real as those stitches, and why not? Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "In the neo-Western 'The Rider,' the cowboy and the Indian are the same person," 25 Apr. 2018 But their son’s turmoil was unending, Gary later told a detective. Alden Woods, azcentral, "Bentinho Massaro's Sedona Experiment: How the search for enlightenment led to a digital cult," 18 Apr. 2018 Since joining the Potters for £12m in January 2017, Berahino has failed to repay the relegation threatened side with a single goal, although that isn't the root of his current turmoil with the Premier League outfit. SI.com, "Saido Berahino's Premier League Career Could Be Finished After Being Banished to Stoke's Under-23s," 6 Apr. 2018 When: 2007Why: It's often thought that Britney was simply expressing her inner turmoil with a radical cut. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "A Brief History of Famous Women Shaving Their Heads," 2 Mar. 2018 Thank you for this provoking review of events from 50 years ago that both in their turmoil and triumph continue to change the world. Smithsonian, "Discussion of our January/February Issue," 24 Feb. 2018

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

1526, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for turmoil

origin unknown

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Statistics for turmoil

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turmoil

The first known use of turmoil was in 1526

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More Definitions for turmoil



English Language Learners Definition of turmoil

: a state of confusion or disorder


tur·​moil | \ˈtər-ˌmȯil \

Kids Definition of turmoil

: a very confused or disturbed state or condition … Tom made an honest effort to study, but the turmoil within him was too great.— Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer

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Comments on turmoil

What made you want to look up turmoil? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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