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  1. a disturbance of the normal condition of the atmosphere, manifesting itself by winds of unusual force or direction, often accompanied by rain, snow, hail, thunder, and lightning, or flying sand or dust.
  2. a heavy fall of rain, snow, or hail, or a violent outbreak of thunder and lightning, unaccompanied by strong winds.
  3. Also called violent storm. Meteorology. a wind of 64–72 miles per hour (29–32 m/sec).
  4. a violent military assault on a fortified place, strong position, or the like.
  5. a heavy or sudden volley or discharge: a storm of criticism; a storm of bullets.
  6. a violent disturbance of affairs, as a civil, political, social, or domestic commotion.
  7. a violent outburst or outbreak of expression: a storm of applause.
  8. Informal. storm window.
verb (used without object)
  1. (of the wind or weather) to blow with unusual force, or to rain, snow, hail, etc., especially with violence (usually used impersonally with it as subject): It stormed all day.
  2. to rage or complain with violence or fury: He stormed angrily at me.
  3. to deliver a violent attack or fire, as with artillery: The troops stormed against the garrison.
  4. to rush to an assault or attack: The tanks stormed towards the city.
  5. to rush angrily: to storm out of a room.
verb (used with object)
  1. to subject to or as if to a storm: The salesman stormed them with offers.
  2. to utter or say with angry vehemence: The strikers stormed their demands.
  3. to attack or assault (persons, places, or things): to storm a fortress.
  1. storm in a teacup. teacup(def 3).

Origin of storm

before 900; (noun) Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch storm, German Sturm, Old Norse stormr; (v.) Middle English stormen, derivative of the noun (compare obsolete sturme, Middle English sturmen, Old English styrman, denominative v. from the same Germanic base as storm); akin to stir1
Related formsstorm·like, adjectiveout·storm, verb (used with object)un·stormed, adjective

Synonyms for storm

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  1. The·o·dore Wold·sen [tey-aw-dawr vawlt-suh n] /ˈteɪ ɔˌdɔr ˈvɔlt sən/, 1817–88, German poet and novelist. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for storm

Contemporary Examples of storm

Historical Examples of storm

  • The storm which commenced so suddenly was one of great violence.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • When the storm came, she was frightened, and said, 'It is a retribution.'


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • In a few days John Lambert would return, and then the storm must break.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.

  • This act of aggression produced a storm of public indignation.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

British Dictionary definitions for storm


    1. a violent weather condition of strong winds, rain, hail, thunder, lightning, blowing sand, snow, etc
    2. (as modifier)storm signal; storm sail
    3. (in combination)stormproof
  1. meteorol a violent gale of force 10 on the Beaufort scale reaching speeds of 55 to 63 mph
  2. a strong or violent reactiona storm of protest
  3. a direct assault on a stronghold
  4. a heavy discharge or rain, as of bullets or missiles
  5. short for storm window (def. 1)
  6. storm in a teacup British a violent fuss or disturbance over a trivial matterUS equivalent: tempest in a teapot
  7. take by storm
    1. to capture or overrun by a violent assault
    2. to overwhelm and enthral
  1. to attack or capture (something) suddenly and violently
  2. (intr) to be vociferously angry
  3. (intr) to move or rush violently or angrily
  4. (intr; with it as subject) to rain, hail, or snow hard and be very windy, often with thunder or lightning
Derived Formsstormlike, adjective

Word Origin for storm

Old English, related to Old Norse stormr, German Sturm; see stir 1
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 storm

Old English storm, from Proto-Germanic *sturmaz (cf. Old Norse stormr, Old Saxon, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch storm, Old High German and German sturm). Old French estour "onset, tumult," Italian stormo are Germanic loan-words. Figurative (non-meteorological) sense was in late Old English.

Storm-door first recorded 1878; storm-water is from 1879; storm-window is attested from 1824. Storm surge attested from 1929.


of the wind, "to rage, be violent," c.1400, from storm (n.). Military sense (1640s) first used by Oliver Cromwell. Related: Stormed; storming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

storm in Medicine


  1. An exacerbation of symptoms or a crisis in the course of a disease.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

storm in Science


  1. A low-pressure atmospheric disturbance resulting in strong winds accompanied by rain, snow, or other precipitation and often by thunder and lightning.
  2. A wind with a speed from 103 to 117 km (64 to 73 mi) per hour, rating 11 on the Beaufort scale.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with storm


see any port in a storm; kick up a fuss (storm); ride out (the storm); take by storm; weather the storm.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.