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  • Adj.

tumultuous

too-MUHL-choo-uhs

Context
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When I attended the Rolling Stones concert, there was tumultuous applause even at the beginning of the show that drowned out the strains of the first song. The tumultuous music itself mirrored the wild and noisy rock and roll genre that drove fans crazy with excitement. Once the concert ended, the crowd broke into such a tumultuous and hugely happy uproar that Mick Jagger and company came back onstage for three encores.

Quiz: When is something tumultuous?

  • When it is so good that it deserves applause.
  • When it comes from a loud and excited crowd.
  • When it is much anticipated.
Definition

Memory Hook
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Ultimate Tumble The buffalo, in the wild confusion of their tumultuous stampede, all rushed off the cliff, taking the ultimate tumble to their deaths.

Examples
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  • Politics are tumultuous; street protests have toppled three elected presidents since 1997, most recently Lucio Gutiérrez, who was ousted in 2005. —The Economist
  • The singer won five Grammy Awards, including best record, best song and best new artist, in early February, but her musical success has been overshadowed by her tumultuous private life and public struggles with drugs and alcohol. —Newsvine
  • The tumultuous day left many traders and analysts bewildered, unable to point to any particular forces driving prices up or down except a general sense of anxious confusion. —The New York Times
  • Barry Werth is the author of ' 31 Days: The Crisis That Gave Us the Government We Have Today,' an account of the tumultuous days following President Nixon’s resignation and the swearing-in of America’s 'accidental president,' Gerald Ford. —Newsweek

Word Ingredients
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tum swell, disturbance, uproar, riot
-uous of the nature of

A tumultuous crowd is “swelling” with noise, causing a great “disturbance,” including an “uproar” and perhaps even a “riot.”

Word Constellation
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Tumultuous

Word Variants
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tumult n noise and disturbance from a large, disorderly crowd