- a confused mass; a jumble or muddle: a welter of anxious faces.
- a state of commotion, turmoil, or upheaval: the welter that followed the surprise attack.
- a rolling, tossing, or tumbling about, as or as if by the sea, waves, or wind: They found the shore through the mighty welter.
"to roll or twist," c.1300, from M.Du. or M.L.G. welteren "to roll," from P.Gmc. *waltijanan (cf. O.E. wieltan, O.N. velta, O.H.G. walzan "to turn, revolve," Ger. wälzen "to roll," Goth. waltjan "to roll"), from PIE base *wel- "to turn, revolve" (see vulva). The noun meaning "confused mass" is first recorded 1851.
"Tenochtitlan fell on August 13, 1521 in a welter of massacre and chaos."
- Charles Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created