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[too-muh lt, tyoo-] /ˈtu məlt, ˈtyu-/
violent and noisy commotion or disturbance of a crowd or mob; uproar:
The tumult reached its height during the premier's speech.
a general outbreak, riot, uprising, or other disorder:
The tumult moved toward the embassy.
highly distressing agitation of mind or feeling; turbulent mental or emotional disturbance:
His placid facade failed to conceal the tumult of his mind.
Origin of tumult
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English tumult(e) < Latin tumultus an uproar, akin to tumēre to swell
1. disorder, turbulence. See ado. 2. revolt, revolution, mutiny. 3. excitement, perturbation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tumult
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then his words were lost in tumult, for the third day's fighting began.

    The Wizard H. Rider Haggard
  • Here the tumult of mingled emotion subsided in a flood of tears.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • But such large masses are not unsettled with impunity; a tumult like this is, in itself, a lively source of alarm.

  • But I tried to listen and answer that I might hide from John my tumult.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • In a few minutes the tumult of the advancing army was increased tenfold by the clamor of the city pouring out to meet it.

    Remember the Alamo Amelia E. Barr
British Dictionary definitions for tumult


a loud confused noise, as of a crowd; commotion
violent agitation or disturbance
great emotional or mental agitation
Word Origin
C15: from Latin tumultus, from tumēre to swell up
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tumult

early 15c., from Old French tumulte (12c.), from Latin tumultus "commotion, disturbance," related to tumere "to be excited, swell" (see thigh).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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