Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A great noise, as of a crowd.
  • noun A disorderly commotion or disturbance.
  • noun A state of agitation of the mind or emotions.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The commotion, disturbance, or agitation of a multitude, usually accompanied with great noise, uproar, and confused talking; an uproar; hence, a noisy uprising, as of a mob.
  • noun Violent commotion or agitation, with confusion of sounds.
  • noun Agitation; high excitement; irregular or confused motion.
  • noun Synonyms Disturbance, turbulence, confusion, hubbub, ferment, outbreak, mêlée.
  • To make a tumult; be in great commotion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To make a tumult; to be in great commotion.
  • noun The commotion or agitation of a multitude, usually accompanied with great noise, uproar, and confusion of voices; hurly-burly; noisy confusion.
  • noun Violent commotion or agitation, with confusion of sounds.
  • noun Irregular or confused motion; agitation; high excitement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The noise as made by a crowd.
  • noun A riot or uprising.
  • verb obsolete To make a tumult; to be in great commotion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the act of making a noisy disturbance
  • noun a state of commotion and noise and confusion
  • noun violent agitation

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English tumulte, from Latin tumultus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin tumultus ("noise, tumult").

Examples

  • Its fair lakes reflect a blue and gentle sky; and, when troubled by the winds, their tumult is but as the play of a lively infant, when compared to the roarings of the giant ocean.

    Chapter 19

  • Its fair lakes reflect a blue and gentle sky; and, when troubled by the winds, their tumult is but as the play of a lively infant, when compared to the roarings of the giant ocean.

    Chapter 2

  • This week's theme is songs that articulate uncertainty, whether at a macro level (a world in tumult) or a micro one (a relationship breaking down).

    Readers recommend: songs about uncertainty

  • The entire town arose in tumult to pursue him, when he stumbled over a dead body, and was seized.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Think of every synonym connected with the word tumult and you will get

    Leonie of the Jungle

  • Anne endeavoured to reduce the Parliament to obediance by arresting and imprisoning two members; but the Parisians rose in tumult, and she was forced to yield the captives, but resolved on revenge.

    A Parallel History of France and England; Consisting of Outlines and Dates

  • They shall be dashed in pieces one against another (v. 13): A great tumult from the Lord shall be among them.

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)

  • “A trifling dispute,” said the Gothic leader, with a firm but gentle tone of voice, “appears to have arisen between the two nations; but it may be productive of the most dangerous consequences, unless the tumult is immediately pacified by the assurance of our safety, and the authority of our presence.”

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • His subjects were impatient of the long continuance of his life and reign: yet all who were capable of reflection apprehended the moment of his death, which might involve the capital in tumult, and the empire in civil war.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • Excited by his voice, the people assembled in tumult; the two houses of prayer were consumed by the flames, but the vacant ground was immediately occupied by the foundations of a new mosch.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Comments

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  • Thanks to Mr. Elster for the pronunciation! Many people I know pronounce the first syllable as in tummy. I have always considered that somewhat beastly.

    January 7, 2011