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turbulence

[tur-byuh-luh ns] /ˈtɜr byə ləns/
noun
1.
the quality or state of being turbulent; violent disorder or commotion.
2.
Hydraulics. the haphazard secondary motion caused by eddies within a moving fluid.
3.
Meteorology. irregular motion of the atmosphere, as that indicated by gusts and lulls in the wind.
Also, turbulency.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Late Latin turbulentia. See turbulent, -ence
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for turbulence
  • Whereas humans strive to minimize turbulence over aircraft wings, dragonflies' wings deliberately generate and exploit turbulence.
  • Air rushing over the birds' feathers produces turbulence.
  • The jagged edge mixes the airflow coming out of the jet engine in a way that reduces turbulence.
  • As it rises, the moisture condenses to form clouds, which are jostled by internal turbulence.
  • Then came a succession of smaller impulses, some arising from turbulence, others from changes in the ship's spatial orientation.
  • He also needed to build a projector that could withstand the rigors of turbulence and be light enough to mount on a plane.
  • Lately, physicists have become interested in soap films because they provide a unique window into turbulence in two dimensions.
  • Now enter into an area of heavy turbulence in the vicinity of a thunderstorm.
  • In all cases, turbulence in the fluid tends to diffuse, or mix out the tracer.
  • Furthermore, insects routinely sink below water's surface due to rain or turbulence, but always manage to resurface.
British Dictionary definitions for turbulence

turbulence

/ˈtɜːbjʊləns/
noun
1.
a state or condition of confusion, movement, or agitation; disorder
2.
(meteorol) local instability in the atmosphere, oceans, or rivers
3.
turbulent flow in a liquid or gas
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 turbulence
n.

1590s; see turbulent + -ence.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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turbulence in Science
turbulence
  (tûr'byə-ləns)   
Chaotic or unstable eddying motion in a fluid. Avoiding excessive turbulence generated around moving objects (such as airplanes), which can make their motion inefficient and difficult to control, is a major factor in aerodynamic design.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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