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

Much of the turmoil was driven by the chief executive himself. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Elon Musk’s week of pot smoking and wild emails, explained," 8 Sep. 2018 Claude Ford, 90, a University of the District of Columbia administrator who served two terms as interim president during moments of turmoil for the fledgling college, died May 27 at his home in Silver Spring, Md. Washington Post, "Community deaths," 13 July 2018 The tourism industry, central to South Sinai’s economy, was hit hard by years of political turmoil after the Egyptian revolution in 2011. Salma Islam, latimes.com, "A long-distance hiking trail in Egypt has reunited Bedouin tribes in the name of jobs and tourism," 21 June 2018 But swirled in there with all of this turmoil was a weird whiff of relief. Michael Andor Brodeur, BostonGlobe.com, "The official language of the US? It’s euphemism.," 21 June 2018 Now, Pixar is facing just such a moment of turmoil. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can Pixar, with its original leader leaving, extend its golden age?," 13 June 2018 Maryland politics was in a bit of (understandable) turmoil, and now voters were being asked to choose their candidates for governor. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "In 1978, The Sun endorsed a dark horse — and helped him become governor," 12 June 2018 The contrast between these two narratives helps explain why Kashmir remains in uproar after 30 years of turmoil. The Economist, "India’s victories against militants in Kashmir are largely pyrrhic," 12 May 2018 Theresa May’s defeat intensifies the political turmoil in the U.K. and throws up a range of possible outcomes. ... Joanna Sugden, WSJ, "What’s Next for Brexit?," 12 Mar. 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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Statistics for turmoil

Last Updated

8 Apr 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 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

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).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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