A Word A Day : Tumult

Saturday, 1st March 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

Pronunciation : too-mùlt


1. a violent or noisy commotion

2. a psychological or emotional upheaval or agitation

3. sounds or a sound especially when loud, confused or disagreeable

4. a quarrel, fight or disturbance marked by very noisy, disorderly and often violent behavior

5. an interruption of regular procedure or of public peace

6. violent agitation


14th century - Directly or via French tumulte - Latin tumultus - commotion - tumere - swell


uproar, commotion, clamor, hubbub, hullabaloo, din, turmoil, furor, mayhem, confusion, chaos, disorder, turbulence, upheaval, turmoil, confusion, turbulence

Tumult applies only to people.

Turmoil is confusion and agitation for people and things.


calm, peace, quiet, calmness, push

Contextual Examples:

• I spend much time in a tumult of anger and disbelief.

• Better than any other he gives a picture of the infinite struggles, clamor, railing and tumult of party.

• The tumult reached its height during the premier's speech.

• The tumult moved toward the embassy.

• His placid facade failed to conceal the tumult of his mind.

Related Words:

tumultuous : Adjective

tumultuously : Adverb

tumultuousness : Noun

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