• synonyms


[foo-droi-uh nt; French foo-drwa-yahn]
  1. striking as with lightning; sudden and overwhelming in effect; stunning; dazzling.
  2. Pathology. (of disease) beginning in a sudden and severe form.
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Origin of foudroyant

1830–40; < French, present participle of foudroyer to strike with lightning, derivative of foudre lightning < Latin fulgur
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for foudroyant

Historical Examples

  • The helm was eased a little, and the ship sheered nearer to le Foudroyant.

    The Two Admirals

    J. Fenimore Cooper

  • That of the Monmouth was 540 pounds, that of the Foudroyant was 1136 pounds.

  • The "Foudroyant" came in sight on the afternoon of the 24th.

    The Life of Nelson, Vol. I (of 2)

    A. T. (Alfred Thayer) Mahan

  • The Foudroyant, which was taken into the service, was looked upon for many years as the finest ship in the British Navy.

  • The Foudroyant's superior manœuvring enabled her to commence the engagement by a raking fire.

British Dictionary definitions for foudroyant


  1. (of a disease) occurring suddenly and with great severity
  2. rare stunning, dazzling, or overwhelming
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Word Origin

C19: from French, from foudroyer to strike with lightning, from Old French foudre lightning, from Latin fulgur
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012