from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Violently agitated or disturbed; tumultuous: turbulent rapids.
  • adj. Having a chaotic or restless character or tendency: a turbulent period in history.
  • adj. Causing unrest or disturbance; unruly: turbulent, revolutionary undercurrents.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. violently disturbed or agitated; tempestuous, tumultuous
  • adj. being in, or causing, disturbance or unrest

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Disturbed; agitated; tumultuous; roused to violent commotion.
  • adj. Disposed to insubordination and disorder; restless; unquiet; refractory.
  • adj. Producing commotion; disturbing; exciting.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Disturbed; agitated; tumultuous; being in violent commotion: as, the turbulent ocean.
  • Restless; unquiet; refractory; disposed to insubordination and disorder; hence, violent; tumultuous; riotous; disorderly.
  • Producing commotion or agitation; inducing turbulence.
  • Synonyms and Obstreperous, uproarious, brawling; seditious, mutinous, revolutionary.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
  • adj. (of a liquid) agitated vigorously; in a state of turbulence


Middle English, from Old French, from Latin turbulentus, from turba, turmoil; see turbid.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin turbulentus, from turba ("disorder, tumult"). (Wiktionary)



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