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Word of the Day
Saturday, November 12, 2016

Definitions for cloudburst

  1. a sudden and very heavy rainfall.

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Citations for cloudburst
I wanted to leave earlier because one fellow had brought jazz records, and jazz drives me up the wall, but it started raining--a real cloudburst. The skylight started leaking, and we had to put pots and pans around to catch the drips. Lilian Jackson Braun, The Cat Who Lived High, 1990
Thunders rolled … Then came a culminating crash--a shock whose reverberations seemed to shake land and sea alike--and on its heels a cloudburst whose drenching violence overpowered the darkened world as if the heavens themselves had opened up to pour forth a vindictive torrent. H. P. Lovecraft and Sonia H. Greene, "The Horror at Martin's Beach," Weird Tales, November 1923
Origin of cloudburst
1810-1820
Cloudburst is an Americanism whose construction is similar to, and may be a translation of, the German noun with the same meaning, Wolkenbruch. It entered English in the early 1800s.