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

Definition of turmoil

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web There certainly seems to be significant turmoil on Rocky Top after last week’s beat down by Kentucky. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Gus Bus meets Lane Train; Sparks will fly in Knoxville," 22 Oct. 2020 Meanwhile, WarnerMedia continues to experience turmoil, including job cuts totaling in the thousands. Gerry Smith, Bloomberg.com, "AT&T Investors Await Signs That HBO Max Has Found Its Footing," 21 Oct. 2020 On the one hand, using our privilege to escape discomfort, danger, and turmoil when so many others cannot feels like a bad look. Kim Kierkegaardashian, The New Yorker, "Ask Kim Kierkegaardashian: Domestic Jungle Is Where the Heart Is," 20 Oct. 2020 The turmoil that would befall the country, let alone the economy and the financial markets, in such a situation would be a nightmare that should concentrate the minds of business leaders regardless of party or ideology. Bennett Freeman, Fortune, "More CEOs must stand up to protect our democracy," 20 Oct. 2020 In between moments of turmoil, confrontation or flamboyant clowning, the tone turns stolid, even dull; some scenes end with inexplicable thuds. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ Review: Disorder In and Out of Court," 15 Oct. 2020 But in contrast to other deaths that generated anger and turmoil for a few days, often only locally, George Floyd dying beneath the knee of a Minneapolis police officer ignited a worldwide movement. Michael Lerseth, SFChronicle.com, "Colin Kaepernick on his time with the 49ers: ‘I stood up for what is right’," 10 Oct. 2020 Wednesday’s editorial argued that national leaders had the opportunity to limit the virus’s spread and prevent widespread illness, deaths and lasting economic turmoil. Washington Post, "The New England Journal of Medicine avoided politics for 208 years. Now it’s urging voters to oust Trump.," 7 Oct. 2020 Pearlstine, the executive editor of the Los Angeles Times who has for the past two years led the paper through both turnaround and turmoil, announced Monday the search has begun for his successor. Kerry Flynn And Oliver Darcy, CNN, "LA Times editor who's overseen turnaround and scandal at the paper announces search for successor," 5 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of turmoil

1526, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for turmoil

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about turmoil

Time Traveler for turmoil

Time Traveler

The first known use of turmoil was in 1526

See more words from the same year

Statistics for turmoil

Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Turmoil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turmoil. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!