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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a stormy/turbulent relationship (=one that involves many arguments)
▪ It had been a stormy relationship and there were frequent drunken rows.
▪ The town lies in North Morazn, one of the most turbulent areas of El Salvador.
▪ By far the most turbulent stream belonged to Wang Tai himself-Gao Yang was absolutely certain of that.
▪ At smaller Re, the difference between laminar and turbulent flow rates is too small.
▪ This spreading is part of the process of entrainment for a turbulent flow.
▪ Most specifically, Fig. 21.22 is an example of results for a turbulent flow as discussed above.
▪ Studies of the energy balance in turbulent flow, as in Figs. 21.8 and 21.16, provide a straight forward example of this.
▪ Below this slugs do not grow, and fully turbulent flow is not produced at any distance downstream.
▪ A physical description of the principal processes occurring within a turbulent flow can be developed from these.
▪ The statistical description of a turbulent flow starts by dividing the velocity and pressure field into mean and fluctuating parts.
▪ The large eddies are the longest-lived features of a turbulent flow.
▪ In Britain, this moment has several phases during a long and turbulent period from the late-eighteenth century to the 1840s.
▪ The repercussions of such a turbulent period are not all disadvantageous, however.
▪ I soon found myself engrossed in the history of the valley; tales and stories of the turbulent times of Border wars.
▪ In those turbulent times that produce skips, however, a slight degradation will be close to unnoticeable.
▪ If so, the town must have known turbulent times in the past.
▪ Given the turbulent times which still afflict the industry, this is a remarkable achievement.
▪ Three presidents came and went in those turbulent times.
▪ In its two turbulent years so far the currency has been used only for paper financial transactions.
▪ We would do well to ponder the anguish of those turbulent years.
▪ By the time she returned to effective public life the turbulent years of mass riot and discontent on the mainland were past.
▪ Without this revival before 1914 it is difficult to see how the parry could have survived the ten turbulent years that followed.
▪ a turbulent relationship
▪ Jason grew up in the South during the turbulent years of the 1960s.
▪ the turbulent white sea
▪ Change has become a constant in the turbulent economy of deregulation and global competition.
▪ In this way it is possible to use the lift low down with safety, provided that the thermals are not too turbulent.
▪ Now it was dark, and our world was a dimly seen circle of indigo water, foam-streaked and turbulent.
▪ Parental reactions are turbulent, and the usual pathways for the development of close parent-infant bonds are disrupted.
▪ The remainder of the transition process consists of the growth of these local regions of turbulent motion, whilst they travel downstream.
▪ The town lies in North Morazn, one of the most turbulent areas of El Salvador.
▪ The upshot is that small areas of the boundary layer are turbulent.
▪ We would do well to ponder the anguish of those turbulent years.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Turbulent \Tur"bu*lent\, a. [L. turbulentus, fr. turba disorder, tumult: cf. F. turbulent. See Turbid.]

  1. Disturbed; agitated; tumultuous; roused to violent commotion; as, the turbulent ocean.

    Calm region once, And full of peace, now tossed and turbulent.

  2. Disposed to insubordination and disorder; restless; unquiet; refractory; as, turbulent spirits.

    Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit.

  3. Producing commotion; disturbing; exciting.

    Whose heads that turbulent liquor fills with fumes.

    Syn: Disturbed; agitated; tumultuous; riotous; seditious; insubordinate; refractory; unquiet.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., "disorderly, tumultuous, unruly" (of persons), from Middle French turbulent (12c.), from Latin turbulentus "full of commotion, restless, disturbed, boisterous, stormy," figuratively "troubled, confused," from turba "turmoil, crowd" (see turbid). In reference to weather, from 1570s. Related: Turbulently.


a. 1 Violently disturbed or agitated; tempestuous, tumultuous. 2 Being in, or causing, disturbance or unrest.

  1. adj. characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination; "effects of the struggle will be violent and disruptive"; "riotous times"; "these troubled areas"; "the tumultuous years of his administration"; "a turbulent and unruly childhood" [syn: disruptive, riotous, troubled, tumultuous]

  2. (of a liquid) agitated vigorously; in a state of turbulence; "the river's roiling current"; "turbulent rapids" [syn: churning, roiling, roiled, roily]

Usage examples of "turbulent".

As he studied her sleeping face, he ached inside to stop the car and take hold of her, to whisper her name against her mouth, to tell her how much he loved her, how much he wanted her, so much that already his body-He cursed under his breath, reminding himself that he was closer now to forty than to twenty and that the turbulent, uncontrollable reaction of his body to the merest thought of touching her was the reaction of an immature boy, not an adult man.

These were turbulent days in the New House, but Bibbs had no part whatever in the turbulence--he seemed an absent-minded stranger, present by accident and not wholly aware that he was present.

He quickly applied power and pulled back on the stick, dropped the flaps, and the Norseman rose back into the turbulent cloud again, shuddering as it was sucked up into the air and the buffeting resumed as before.

The solemn chanting moved Sandy deeply, despite the fact he knew almost nothing of the man the dirge commemorated or of the turbulent world he lived in.

Currently, however, thanks to Pierre Celsus, the rage had now become that lovely child of the petroleum refinery, the fluidized reaction, in which hot gases having composition A streamed up through a turbulent mass of tiny catalyst particles, while simultaneously suspending that mass, to emerge at the top of the bed with composition B.

But immediately after the young mountains were born, the rain and the glaciers had begun their work, gouging and eroding, washing the mountains back to the sea: On this turbulent planet, rock flowed like water, and mountain ranges rose and fell like dreams.

Eyes wide and turbulent, Aurelie watched her inamorato enter the little one-horse carriage.

The turbulent surface darkened, and Lok cried out once from suppressed emotion.

Was there a man, woman, or child, from the Cliffs of Moher to Achill Island, that did not know the dainty five-ton yacht, which, as a contrast to his own turbulent spirit, he had so named?

So, in those turbulent times, it was a blessing and a delight to have a strong nagus like Rom.

She had found the cabin exactly where he had said it would be, a few kilometers above the top of the chairlift, just north of the saddleback behind which lay the very nascence of the turbulent American River.

Hans did not see that Frank was little like his usual jovial self, and he did not know in what a turbulent state of mind the unfortunate plebe was left.

Barring mechanical failures, turbulent weather and terrorist acts, Tweedy said, an aircraft traveling at the speed of sound may be the last refuge of gracious living and civilized manners known to man.

I hereby inform you that the deserter and turbulent Cossack of the Don, Imiliane Pougatcheff, after having been guilty of the unpardonable insolence of usurping the name of the deceased Emperor Peter III, has assembled a troop of brigands, disturbed the villages of the Iaik, and has even taken and destroyed several fortresses, at the same time committing everywhere robberies and assassinations.

What madness, while every thing is so happily settled under ancient forms and institutions, now more exactly poised and adjusted, to try the hazardous experiment of a new constitution, and renounce the mature wisdom of our ancestors for the crude whimseys of turbulent innovators!