Turbulent means chaotic, disordered, characterized by conflict. A time of war is a turbulent time for a country. If your family moves and your parents get divorced, you might call that a turbulent period in your history.

This adjective also commonly describes unstable or violent movement in the atmosphere, or in oceans and rivers. When the pilot comes announces turbulent air or turbulence ahead, get ready for the plane to bump and shake. Turbulence has another specialized sense when describing an uneven flow of a liquid or gas.

Definitions of turbulent
  1. adjective
    characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
    “a turbulent and unruly childhood”
    synonyms: disruptive, riotous, troubled, tumultuous
    characterized by unrest or disorder
  2. adjective
    (of a liquid) agitated vigorously; in a state of turbulence
    turbulent rapids”
    synonyms: churning, roiled, roiling, roily
    physically disturbed or set in motion
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘turbulent'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up turbulent for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer