Definition of turbulent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtəːbjʊl(ə)nt/


1Characterized by conflict, disorder, or confusion; not stable or calm: the country’s turbulent history her turbulent emotions
More example sentences
  • It's intense and turbulent and chaotic and calming and rhythmic all at the same time.
  • Its structures, planes and buildings emit an emotional charge, rooted in the city's turbulent history.
  • Built by Edward Longshanks and destroyed by the Duke of Cumberland's army as it advanced towards Culloden, Linlithgow Palace stands at the heart of Scotland's turbulent history.
tempestuous, stormy, unstable, unsettled, tumultuous, explosive, in turmoil, full of upheavals, full of conflict, full of ups and downs, roller-coaster, chaotic, full of confusion;
violent, wild, anarchic, lawless
1.1(Of air or water) moving unsteadily or violently: the turbulent sea
More example sentences
  • Sorting is one result of the movement of sediment transported by turbulent air or water.
  • The turbulent air is cooled, and this causes condensation and consequently an extensive stratus cloud is often formed.
  • In rougher, more turbulent water, trout are much harder to see.
rough, stormy, tempestuous, storm-tossed, heavy, violent, wild, angry, raging, boiling, seething, foaming, choppy, bumpy, agitated;
squally, blustery;
North American  roily
literary weltering
rare boisterous
1.2 technical Relating to or denoting flow of a fluid in which the velocity at any point fluctuates irregularly and there is continual mixing rather than a steady or laminar flow pattern.
Example sentences
  • Instabilities appear in the flow as Re increases, and all flows become turbulent at sufficiently large Reynolds numbers.
  • Boundary layers have to be modelled with particular attention to the possible change from turbulent to laminar flow.
  • He studied the change in a flow along a pipe when it goes from laminar flow to turbulent flow.



Pronunciation: /ˈtəːbjʊl(ə)ntli/
Example sentences
  • Slightly off-centre, a constant whirlpool swirls and churns turbulently, sometimes spitting up a boiling fount.
  • Johnny can see the light at the end of the tunnel, as he dances around the fire and refuses any tribal talk about why it is turbulently raging.
  • The urge to write has always been turbulently strong within her, and she has relieved this through the years by writing short stories.


Late Middle English: from Latin turbulentus 'full of commotion', from turba 'crowd'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tur¦bu|lent

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