Definition of turbulent in English:

turbulent

adjective

  • 1Characterized by conflict, disorder, or confusion; not stable or calm.

    ‘the country's turbulent history’
    ‘her turbulent emotions’
    • ‘It's intense and turbulent and chaotic and calming and rhythmic all at the same time.’
    • ‘I think that most other nationalities have had a turbulent enough history to know that one can never relax, that nothing is forever, that society is constantly making and re-making itself.’
    • ‘Just after he returned to Spain, the country entered a new and turbulent phase in its history.’
    • ‘The book is a well-balanced account of both the baseball of the '30s and the larger social history of that turbulent era.’
    • ‘The break-in is the latest event in a turbulent recent history for the family who were thrust back into the media spotlight following the success of their eponymous reality TV show.’
    • ‘Its structures, planes and buildings emit an emotional charge, rooted in the city's turbulent history.’
    • ‘The July Monarchy was a turbulent time in French history.’
    • ‘The history of Romany gipsies and Irish travellers in Yorkshire is a long and turbulent one - and conflict with locals and the authorities is nothing new.’
    • ‘Wallace began his career in the 1830s as a land surveyor in Wales, during one of the most turbulent eras of British history.’
    • ‘On no occasion throughout that turbulent history was an eventual withdrawal from the convertibility regime put under serious public discussion.’
    • ‘Don't miss a tour of the Berlin Experience, which traces its turbulent history.’
    • ‘Built by Edward Longshanks and destroyed by the Duke of Cumberland's army as it advanced towards Culloden, Linlithgow Palace stands at the heart of Scotland's turbulent history.’
    • ‘The paper has had a somewhat turbulent history.’
    • ‘After the most turbulent year in the history of the Olympic Games, Kevan Gosper has written an account of his life in sport, from being an athlete, through his years as a sports administrator.’
    • ‘He's observed the turbulent history of the humble stage direction and has decided to take action.’
    • ‘Since its introduction by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, quality assurance of teaching has had a relatively brief but turbulent history.’
    • ‘Despite its turbulent history, the Borders has managed to retain a number of fine period homes.’
    • ‘Evidence of the region's turbulent history is everywhere.’
    • ‘The town had remained calm since the turbulent times seven months ago.’
    • ‘During its turbulent history it had known dozens of presidents, but their efforts to rule had been fruitless, invariably with blood flowing.’
    tempestuous, stormy, unstable, unsettled, tumultuous, explosive, in turmoil, full of upheavals, full of conflict, full of ups and downs, roller-coaster, chaotic, full of confusion
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    1. 1.1 (of air or water) moving unsteadily or violently.
      ‘the turbulent sea’
      • ‘In these turbulent waters, the American Navy navigates the political shoals and does what it does best.’
      • ‘Charlie could see turbulent waters ahead, and prayed for wisdom.’
      • ‘A mass of waves were sweeping the shoreline, and the turbulent water toppled trees and swept them towards both ends of the lake, now spread twice as wide as it had once been.’
      • ‘It was as if the turbulent water of new relationship really had passed beneath the bridge, and now we were free to relax.’
      • ‘The turbulent water produces millions of air bubbles that circle about your mask and add to the thrill of the current.’
      • ‘The turbulent air is cooled, and this causes condensation and consequently an extensive stratus cloud is often formed.’
      • ‘Looking down at the turbulent waters below, she took a deep breath and prayed.’
      • ‘Needless to say he's in the turbulent water for an awfully long time.’
      • ‘If the air was turbulent, maintaining a tight formation was a real chore.’
      • ‘Sorting is one result of the movement of sediment transported by turbulent air or water.’
      • ‘He kicked and slapped the his way through the turbulent water in a desperate attempt to break through to the surface and breathe.’
      • ‘There is another very large grassy area across the other side of the lake which offers a more forgiving landing and less chance of turbulent air.’
      • ‘Ironically, wave power is produced not by water but by the air currents that are trapped and then pushed around by the turbulent waters.’
      • ‘Suddenly, with a splash to wake the dead, it flipped over and he was tossed into the turbulent waters near mid-stream.’
      • ‘In rougher, more turbulent water, trout are much harder to see.’
      • ‘Only when they were finished did I discover that the wooden boats were barely buoyant enough to survive the turbulent water.’
      • ‘Jimmy took off and flew all the way through turbulent air to land at Newark at 3: 51 pm.’
      • ‘They made their way through the turbulent waters, and Elijah breathed a sigh of relief.’
      • ‘The North Sea is an enchanting voyage across alternately silky and turbulent waters.’
      • ‘He dropped down below the boat and the turbulent water.’
      rough, stormy, tempestuous, storm-tossed, heavy, violent, wild, angry, raging, boiling, seething, foaming, choppy, bumpy, agitated
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    2. 1.2technical Relating to or denoting flow of a fluid in which the velocity at any point fluctuates irregularly and there is continual mixing rather than a steady or laminar flow pattern.
      • ‘He studied the change in a flow along a pipe when it goes from laminar flow to turbulent flow.’
      • ‘They can be viewed as a turbulent flow of liquid in which the chaotic fluctuations get larger as one examines the fluid with a magnifying glass on a finer and finer scale.’
      • ‘Instabilities appear in the flow as Re increases, and all flows become turbulent at sufficiently large Reynolds numbers.’
      • ‘Boundary layers have to be modelled with particular attention to the possible change from turbulent to laminar flow.’
      • ‘The flows can also be turbulent, which means there is little hope of solving the necessary equations.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin turbulentus ‘full of commotion’, from turba ‘crowd’.

Pronunciation

turbulent

/ˈtəːbjʊl(ə)nt/