turmoil

Mashed potatoes flew in one direction, peas in another. Kids were standing on chairs. The principal was shouting, but no one listened. "Food fight!" the seniors cried. The cafeteria was in a state of turmoil.

Turmoil rhymes with boil — think of the way that boiling water moves, and you'll understand what turmoil looks like. It refers to confusion, chaos, violent disturbance. The economy can be in turmoil — the markets behaving erratically, people losing their jobs, and no one understanding why.

Definitions of turmoil
  1. noun
    a violent disturbance
    synonyms: convulsion, upheaval
  2. noun
    violent agitation
    synonyms: tumult
    see moresee less
    type of:
    agitation
    the feeling of being agitated; not calm
  3. noun
    disturbance usually in protest
    synonyms: agitation, excitement, hullabaloo, upheaval
    see moresee less
    type of:
    disturbance
    the act of disturbing something or someone; setting something in motion
Word Family