[ tur-byuh-luhnt ]
/ ˈtɜr byə lənt /


being in a state of agitation or tumult; disturbed: turbulent feelings or emotions.
characterized by, or showing disturbance, disorder, etc.: the turbulent years.
given to acts of violence and aggression: the turbulent young soldiers.

Origin of turbulent

1530–40; < Latin turbulentus restless, equivalent to turb(a) turmoil + -ulentus -ulent
Related formstur·bu·lent·ly, adverbun·tur·bu·lent, adjectiveun·tur·bu·lent·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for turbulent

British Dictionary definitions for turbulent


/ (ˈtɜːbjʊlənt) /


being in a state of turbulence
wild or insubordinate; unruly
Derived Formsturbulently, adverb

Word Origin for turbulent

C16: from Latin turbulentus, from turba confusion
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 turbulent



1530s, "disorderly, tumultuous, unruly" (of persons), from Middle French turbulent (12c.), from Latin turbulentus "full of commotion, restless," from turba "turmoil, crowd" (see turbid). In reference to weather, attested from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper