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

Britain’s Parliament is facing a second straight day of political turmoil as lawmakers fought Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to deliver Brexit in less than two months, come what may. Washington Post, "UK court rules Johnson’s suspension of Parliament unlawful," 11 Sep. 2019 But Queen Elizabeth’s second son tried to act like was not in the midst of this turmoil by attending an event in Bruges, Belgium to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of that country from German forces during World War II. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Prince Andrew’s bad news weekend: New reports say he ‘raged’ at royal aide and invited Jeffrey Epstein to daughter’s 18th birthday," 9 Sep. 2019 Hong Kong has not seen this kind of turmoil since the pro-communist riots of 1967 when residents took to the streets calling for the end of British colonial rule. NBC News, "Hong Kong's Carrie Lam withdraws extradition bill that sparked a protest movement," 4 Sep. 2019 Frei is a technology and operations management professor who is known for joining Uber with the goal of improving its internal culture during a period of extraordinary turmoil at the company. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "WeWork names first female board member ahead of IPO," 4 Sep. 2019 The sequel in Locke’s award-winning Highway 59 mystery series finds Texas Ranger Darren Matthews tracking down a missing boy from a white supremacist family, forcing the officer to confront Texas’ history of racial turmoil. David Canfield, EW.com, "20 new books to read in September," 2 Sep. 2019 Ariana Grande has a knack for capturing the true struggle of romantic turmoil. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Ariana Grande and Social House Release “Boyfriend”—A New Song About Crippling Crushes," 2 Aug. 2019 The board meeting at which she was ousted led to a period of intense turmoil for the hospital system. David Fleshler, sun-sentinel.com, "Broward Health reaches tentative settlement with fired CEO," 26 July 2019 There had been rumors of turmoil with Paul and Harden — rumors that have been denied. ExpressNews.com, "Russell Westbrook wants to bring a title to Rockets," 26 July 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.

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

Statistics for turmoil

Last Updated

23 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turmoil

The first known use of turmoil was in 1526

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

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!