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

Halfway into his third season with Minnesota that began in turmoil surrounding the eventual trade of All-Star Jimmy Butler, Thibodeau’s final game was a 108-86 victory over the LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers . Dave Campbell, The Seattle Times, "Timberwolves fire coach, president Tom Thibodeau," 7 Jan. 2019 Mali has been in turmoil since a 2012 uprising by Tuaregs prompted mutinous soldiers to overthrow the president of a decade. Fox News, "France proposes sanctions against Mali peace deal spoilers," 30 Aug. 2018 Mayor Tom Barrett has named Jeanette Kowalik as his pick to head the beleaguered agency, which has been in turmoil for months amid problems with its program aimed at preventing lead poisoning among children. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mayor Tom Barrett picks Jeanette Kowalik to lead troubled Milwaukee Health Department," 11 July 2018 Amid the turmoil, Republican Gov. Rick Scott agreed to step down from the state panel responsible for certifying the final results. Kelli Kennedy, The Seattle Times, "Overheating machines complicate Florida’s recount battle," 14 Nov. 2018 Spiegel controls Snap, and is viewed by many as a product savant, so a lot of investors have kept hope that his product expertise would keep Snapchat going amid other turmoil. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Four reasons Snap’s stock price is at an all-time low," 16 Sep. 2018 But amid the political turmoil and violence in his home country, Abed has managed to find an outlet in soccer. Jamie Goldberg, OregonLive.com, "Iraqi boy relishes chance to meet Timbers players, attend rivalry match while seeking medical help in Portland," 14 May 2018 In the face of such turmoil, either Mr. Trump or the Fed would blink. Peter Conti-brown, WSJ, "Can Trump Fire Jerome Powell? It’s a Political Question," 10 Dec. 2018 The second season of American Gods, the Starz adaption of Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel, has been plagued for months by production turmoil, including the recent sidelining of its replacement show runner. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The warring old and new gods are back in American Gods S2 teaser trailer," 6 Oct. 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

14 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on turmoil

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turmoil

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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