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Word of the Day
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Definitions for tumult

  1. The commotion or agitation of a crowd, usually accompanied with great noise, uproar, and confusion of voices; hurly-burly; noisy confusion.
  2. Violent commotion or agitation, with confusion of sounds; as, "the tumult of the elements."
  3. Irregular or confused motion; agitation; high excitement; as, "the tumult of the spirits or passions."
    --tumultuous, adjective

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Citations for tumult
Just imagine, reader, a reduction of the centuries and a parade of all of them, all races, all passions, the tumult of empires, the war of appetites and hates, the reciprocal destruction of creatures and things. Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis, The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas (translated by Gregory Rabassa)
The Irish Sea has been polluted, the aeroplanes roar above our heads, preparing for the next war; but this is the work of man. Seeing the dew in the morning and the beauty of the sea at sunset; listening to the silence after the aeroplanes have ceased their tumult, I have just as good a right to my faith as he has to his atheism. R.S. Thomas, Irish Times
Origin of tumult
late Middle English
1375-1425
Tumult is from Latin tumultus, from tumeo, tumere, to swell; to swell with anger or excitement.