verb (used without object), ful·mi·nat·ed, ful·mi·nat·ing.

to explode with a loud noise; detonate.
to issue denunciations or the like (usually followed by against): The minister fulminated against legalized vice.

verb (used with object), ful·mi·nat·ed, ful·mi·nat·ing.

to cause to explode.
to issue or pronounce with vehement denunciation, condemnation, or the like.


one of a group of unstable, explosive compounds derived from fulminic acid, especially the mercury salt of fulminic acid, which is a powerful detonating agent.

Origin of fulminate

1375–1425; late Middle English fulminaten < Latin fulminātus (past participle of fulmināre) thundered, equivalent to fulmin- (stem of fulmen) thunderbolt, lightning + -ātus -ate1
Related formsful·mi·na·tor, nounful·mi·na·to·ry [fuhl-muh-nuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈfʌl mə nəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivenon·ful·mi·nat·ing, adjectiveun·ful·mi·nat·ed, adjectiveun·ful·mi·nat·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of fulminate

British Dictionary definitions for fulminate



(intr often foll by against) to make criticisms or denunciations; rail
to explode with noise and violence
(intr) archaic to thunder and lighten


any salt or ester of fulminic acid, esp the mercury salt, which is used as a detonator
Derived Formsfulmination, nounfulminator, nounfulminatory, adjective

Word Origin for fulminate

C15: from Medieval Latin fulmināre; see fulminant
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

Word Origin and History for fulminate

early 15c., "publish a 'thundering' denunciation," from Latin fulminatus, past participle of fulminare "hurl lightning, lighten," from fulmen (genitive fulminis) "lightning flash," related to fulgere "to shine, flash," from PIE *bhleg- "to shine, flash," from root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)). Metaphoric sense (the original sense in English) is via its use in reference to a formal ecclesiastical censure. Related: Fulminated; fulminating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper