- a loud, explosive, resounding noise produced by the explosive expansion of air heated by a lightning discharge.
- any loud, resounding noise: the thunder of applause.
- a threatening or startling utterance, denunciation, or the like.
- to give forth thunder (often used impersonally with it as the subject): It thundered last night.
- to make a loud, resounding noise like thunder: The artillery thundered in the hills.
- to utter loud or vehement denunciations, threats, or the like.
- to speak in a very loud tone.
- to move or go with a loud noise or violent action: The train thundered through the village.
- to strike, drive, inflict, give forth, etc., with loud noise or violent action.
- steal someone's thunder,
- to use for one's own purposes and without the knowledge or permission of the originator the inventions or ideas of another.
- to ruin or detract from the effect of a performance, remark, etc., by anticipating it.
Origin of thunder
Examples from the Web for thunder
Zilch, what with Showtime's other steamy sex-heavy drama, The Affair, stealing its thunder.15 Enraging Golden Globe TV Snubs and Surprises: Amy Poehler, 'Mad Men' & More
December 11, 2014
And the second I arrived and did my last step, there was thunder and rain pouring.Philippe Petit’s Moment of Concern Walking the WTC Tightrope
August 8, 2014
There were flashes of lightning outside and the rumble of thunder.The Gentle Giant Cut Down by Cops
July 24, 2014
Thunder peals outside, and there is a flash that shows the wire threaded through the thick window glass above the bleachers.Shaq, Year One
Charles P. Pierce
May 24, 2014
But as the furor subsides and the thunder dies, most or all of those girls probably will remain captives.The Boko Haram Bidding War
May 10, 2014
And a rumble quickly grew to an earth-shaking blast of thunder.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
Pound, pound, pound, the hard road rang with the thunder of hoofs.A Woman Tenderfoot
Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
When he flaps his wings or even moves a quill the thunder peals.Indian Legends of Vancouver Island
There was no thunder nor lightning during the whole time they were in these latitudes.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
And the thunder of galloping hoofs was more menacing than that of the cannon.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
- a loud cracking or deep rumbling noise caused by the rapid expansion of atmospheric gases which are suddenly heated by lightning
- any loud booming sound
- rare a violent threat or denunciation
- steal someone's thunder to detract from the attention due to another by forestalling him or her
- to make (a loud sound) or utter (words) in a manner suggesting thunder
- (intr; with it as subject) to be the case that thunder is being heard
- (intr) to move fast and heavilythe bus thundered downhill
- (intr) to utter vehement threats or denunciation; rail
Word Origin and History for thunder
Old English þunor, from Proto-Germanic *thunraz (cf. Old Norse þorr, Old Frisian thuner, Middle Dutch donre, Dutch donder, Old High German donar, German Donner "thunder"), from PIE *(s)tene- "to resound, thunder" (cf. Sanskrit tanayitnuh "thundering," Persian tundar "thunder," Latin tonare "to thunder"). Swedish tordön is literally "Thor's din." The intrusive -d- is also found in Dutch and Icelandic versions of the word.
Old English þunrian, from the source of thunder (n.). Figurative sense of "to speak loudly, threateningly, bombastically" is recorded from mid-14c. Related: Thundered; thundering.
- The explosive noise that accompanies a stroke of lightning. Thunder is a series of sound waves produced by the rapid expansion of the air through which the lightning passes. Sound travels about 1 km in 3 seconds (about 1 mi in 5 seconds). The distance between an observer and a lightning flash can be calculated by counting the number of seconds between the flash and the thunder. See Note at lightning.
The noise created when air rushes back into a region from which it has been expelled by the passage of lightning.
Idioms and Phrases with thunder
see under steal someone's thunder.