Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

turmoil

[tur-moil]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a state of great commotion, confusion, or disturbance; tumult; agitation; disquiet: mental turmoil caused by difficult decisions.
  2. Obsolete. harassing labor.
Show More

Origin of turmoil

1505–15; orig. as v.: to agitate; etymology uncertain; perhaps tur(n) + moil

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. turbulence, disorder, uproar.

Synonym study

1. See agitation.

Antonyms

1. order, quiet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for turmoil

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Hast thou heard the saying of Gwgan, After escaping from the turmoil?

    Y Gododin

    Aneurin

  • All the agitation and turmoil of the last few months seemed to fall away from him.

    The Avenger

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • I have so often come to them from the heat and turmoil of controversy.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • Just think of it—all that fuss and all that turmoil over something so obvious.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • Then, in the turmoil of his mind, there was no thought of the girl.

    The World Beyond

    Raymond King Cummings


British Dictionary definitions for turmoil

turmoil

noun
  1. violent or confused movement; agitation; tumult
Show More
verb
  1. archaic to make or become turbulent
Show More

Word Origin

C16: perhaps from turn + moil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for turmoil

n.

1520s, perhaps an alteration of Middle French tremouille "mill hopper," in reference to the hopper's constant motion to and fro, from Latin trimodia "vessel containing three modii," from modius, a Roman dry measure, related to modus "measure." Attested earlier in English as a verb (1510s), though this now is obsolete.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper