Definition of turbulence in US English:



  • 1Violent or unsteady movement of air or water, or of some other fluid.

    ‘the plane shuddered as it entered some turbulence’
    • ‘Sienna's year has been marked by violent or overwhelming turbulence or upheaval.’
    • ‘Computer models of the building form showed how it could be modified to minimize wind turbulence at the base.’
    • ‘There will still be some turbulence to the north of the plateau, but the water above the Pit will be calm.’
    • ‘This is the best time to avoid turbulence either from possible thunderstorms or heat convection from the sun.’
    • ‘Reynolds also noticed that once the turbulence started, the fluid dragged.’
    • ‘What seemed like hours later, I felt the floor beneath me shake violently like turbulence and it never stopped.’
    • ‘His doctoral dissertation, presented to Munich in 1923, was on turbulence in fluid streams.’
    • ‘The plane landed after a harrowing trip through heart stopping turbulence.’
    • ‘Turbidity currents are high-density flows in which the sediment is supported by the upward component of fluid turbulence.’
    • ‘It is extremely uncomfortable as the plane is thrown around violently, in the worst turbulence imaginable.’
    • ‘The turbulence in the wake of an airplane can be extremely dangerous to other aircraft.’
    • ‘The counter-rotating shafts create a high degree of turbulence from a single electric motor.’
    • ‘The entire ship trembled slightly as it ran through severe turbulence.’
    • ‘Movement of the gas near the surface causes vigorous turbulence that produces a broad spectrum of random noises.’
    • ‘The turbulence shook the jet like an earthquake high in the air.’
    • ‘Water is naturally pure and clear, though its turbulence may stir up mud from below.’
    • ‘We were knocked about like a bucket of bolts as we passed through heavy turbulence.’
    • ‘They create enough turbulence in the river of water flowing along the ski base to break the suction.’
    • ‘Frictional turbulence is where a layer of wind passing across land or sea generates disturbances within itself.’
    • ‘There is nothing intrinsically non-deterministic about turbulence.’
    rough air currents, irregular atmospheric motion, uneven air movement
    roughness, storminess, tempestuousness, heaviness, violence, wildness, choppiness, agitation
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    1. 1.1 Conflict; confusion.
      ‘a time of political turbulence’
      • ‘Rivalry is a groundswell word, suggesting turbulence by its very sound.’
      • ‘Despite all tumult and turbulence, one after all, had to carry on.’
      • ‘What is happening is that all this turbulence and confusion makes us nervous and defensive.’
      • ‘The political and economic turbulence of the Civil War years intensified their troubles.’
      • ‘After World War I increasing poverty of the masses led to political turbulence.’
      • ‘If drug stocks hit more turbulence in this stormy political season, we may hear plenty about who is selling them.’
      • ‘Gandhi's answer to the turbulence was to fast until the protagonists stopped their battles!’
      • ‘But she was soon caught up in the turbulence of the day, as the age of politicians had arrived.’
      • ‘They would not carry the research overheads of universities and would remain free of political turbulence.’
      • ‘A few months later, her relationship with Greg had been going through some turbulence.’
      • ‘Not only does trouble run in streaks but turbulence tends to cluster.’
      turmoil, instability, conflict, upheaval, tumult, troubles, unrest, ferment, disorder, disruption, disturbance, chaos, confusion
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Late Middle English: from Old French, or from late Latin turbulentia, from turbulentus ‘full of commotion’ (see turbulent).