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

n a violent disturbance

convulsion, upheaval
Type of:
commotion, disruption, disturbance, flutter, hoo-ha, hoo-hah, hurly burly, kerfuffle, to-do
a disorderly outburst or tumult

n violent agitation

Type of:
the feeling of being agitated; not calm

n disturbance usually in protest

agitation, excitement, hullabaloo, upheaval
Type of:
the act of disturbing something or someone; setting something in motion

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