[too-muhlt, tyoo-]


violent and noisy commotion or disturbance of a crowd or mob; uproar: The tumult reached its height during the premier's speech.
a general outbreak, riot, uprising, or other disorder: The tumult moved toward the embassy.
highly distressing agitation of mind or feeling; turbulent mental or emotional disturbance: His placid facade failed to conceal the tumult of his mind.

Origin of tumult

1375–1425; late Middle English tumult(e) < Latin tumultus an uproar, akin to tumēre to swell

Synonyms for tumult

Synonym study

1. See ado.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tumult

Contemporary Examples of tumult

Historical Examples of tumult

  • Here the tumult of mingled emotion subsided in a flood of tears.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • The poor dog heard the tumult, and leapt to your aid, sir, and we made after him.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • In a tumult of thought, Hope went and sat half-unconsciously by the window.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • But I tried to listen and answer that I might hide from John my tumult.

  • The shouting and the tumult gave me great pleasure; but, oh!

British Dictionary definitions for tumult



a loud confused noise, as of a crowd; commotion
violent agitation or disturbance
great emotional or mental agitation

Word Origin for tumult

C15: from Latin tumultus, from tumēre to swell up
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 tumult

early 15c., from Old French tumulte (12c.), from Latin tumultus "commotion, disturbance," related to tumere "to be excited, swell" (see thigh).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper