9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[tur-byuh-luh nt] /ˈtɜr byə lənt/
being in a state of agitation or tumult; disturbed:
turbulent feelings or emotions.
characterized by, or showing disturbance, disorder, etc.:
the turbulent years.
given to acts of violence and aggression:
the turbulent young soldiers.
Origin of turbulent
1530-40; < Latin turbulentus restless, equivalent to turb(a) turmoil + -ulentus -ulent
Related forms
turbulently, adverb
unturbulent, adjective
unturbulently, adverb
1. agitated, tumultuous, violent, tempestuous, disordered. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for turbulent
  • More important, the book also offers the first accurate and in-depth chronology of a turbulent journey from criminal to icon.
  • He took office when order reigned, and left it when times grew turbulent.
  • The adjustable straps stay closed no matter how turbulent the water, or what you wedge your foot in below its surface.
  • Dimples on a golf ball create a thin turbulent boundary layer of air that clings to the ball's surface.
  • The revolution there, with its daring protesters and turbulent course of events, has captured a global audience.
  • For example, barnacles from calm areas that were moved to turbulent seas grew short, wide members.
  • As a cyclone moves along a warm oceanic surface, it causes turbulent mixing in the oceanic mixed layer.
  • As had once been learned in the past, maintaining stability in a turbulent atmosphere can be a dangerous challenge.
  • Moreover, in some cases a pilot might wish to do the opposite and promote turbulent flow-for example, when slowing down.
  • Pilots do their best to fly around storms and to steer clear of turbulent areas reported by aircraft further along the route.
British Dictionary definitions for turbulent


being in a state of turbulence
wild or insubordinate; unruly
Derived Forms
turbulently, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin turbulentus, from turba confusion
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 turbulent

1530s, "disorderly, tumultuous, unruly" (of persons), from Middle French turbulent (12c.), from Latin turbulentus "full of commotion, restless," from turba "turmoil, crowd" (see turbid). In reference to weather, attested from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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