A Word A Day : Turbulence

Saturday, 5th April 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

Pronunciation : túr-bye-lenss


1. a state of confusion characterized by unpredictability and uncontrolled change

2. METEOROLOGY : an instability in the atmosphere that disrupts the flow of the wind, causing gusty, unpredictable air currents

3. PHYSICS : eddies or secondary motion within a moving fluid

4. the state or quality of being turbulent

5. state of violent or agitated behavior in a fluid


Origin: 1590–1600 - Latin - turbulentia - turmoil


agitation, commotion, convulsion, disorder, disturbance, helter-skelter, stir1, tumult, turmoil, uproar,confusion, unrest, instability, hurly-burly, furor, chaos, mayhem, havoc

Tumult applies only to people.

Turmoil is confusion and agitation for people and things.

Tumultuous can describe things and people.


calm, order, calmness, peace, quiet, serenity, stillness, tranquility

Contextual Examples:

• A Business man has to face many times of turbulence and confusion.

• In a time of turbulence and change, it is more true than ever that knowledge is power.

• Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.

Related Words:

turbulency : Noun

turbulent : Adjective

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