tur·​moil | \ ˈtər-ˌmȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce turmoil (audio) \

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 In 2019 our artists brought to life all manner of subjects, from stories of political turmoil to new literature and scientific discoveries. The Economist, "The year, illustrated 2019 in review: Ten illustrations that sum up the year," 30 Dec. 2019 In August 2018, after several years of turmoil searching for a new health commissioner, the Board of Health hired Melba Moore, who held the title in St. Louis for 15 years. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati's health department hired a board member as finance director. Lawsuits ensued.," 16 Dec. 2019 Even as the strength of the long-running yellow vest protests has dissipated over the year, the movement’s simmering anger at the president ran smack dab this weekend into the latest turmoil over his pension plans. BostonGlobe.com, "Even as the strength of the long-running yellow vest protests has dissipated over the year, the movement’s simmering anger at the president ran smack dab this weekend into the latest turmoil over his pension plans.," 7 Dec. 2019 Iraq faced a similar turmoil led by the youth and lower-income residents who demanded an end to corruption, high unemployment and weak infrastructure. NBC News, "In 2019, protesters took to the streets around the world to demand change," 24 Dec. 2019 Political analyst Masha Lipman told me that Trump's impeachment suits the Kremlin, which would prefer to see America weak and regards U.S. domestic turmoil as a relief. Fox News, "Reporter's Notebook: Putin marks 20 years in power," 21 Dec. 2019 Trade turmoil:With trade war looming, will shoppers spend more this holiday season? Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, "Want to save on gas and hotels this holiday season? You might want to try these apps," 21 Dec. 2019 On the international front, American investors may need to pay more attention to the chaotic Brexit situation and the potential that market turmoil could spill over to the European continent. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Investors may be overly complacent about 2020," 20 Dec. 2019 First appointed in 2011 to fill the vacant mayoral seat, Kuykendall was re-elected four times and had helped the city stablize after some internal turmoil. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Year in Review: Local Woodlands figures who were in the news," 20 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for turmoil

Time Traveler

The first known use of turmoil was in 1526

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Statistics for turmoil

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Turmoil.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turmoil. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for turmoil


How to pronounce turmoil (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of turmoil

: a state of confusion or disorder


tur·​moil | \ ˈtər-ˌmȯil How to pronounce turmoil (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on turmoil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for turmoil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turmoil

Spanish Central: Translation of turmoil

Nglish: Translation of turmoil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of turmoil for Arabic Speakers

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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