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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
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.