[ stawr-mee ]
/ ˈstɔr mi /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: stormy / stormily / storminess on Thesaurus.com

adjective, storm·i·er, storm·i·est.
affected, characterized by, or subject to storms; tempestuous: a stormy sea.
characterized by violent commotion, actions, speech, passions, etc.: a stormy debate.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of stormy

1150–1200; Middle English; Old English stormig.See storm, -y1


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does stormy  mean?

Stormy literally describes weather that has resulted in storms or that indicates that storms are coming—especially conditions like dark clouds, strong winds, thunder, lightning, and rain. It is often used in the phrase stormy weather.

It can also be used to describe a place that frequently has storms.

Stormy can also be used in a figurative way to describe a situation that’s full of conflict and commotion, as in Things got a bit stormy at the council meeting when members started making accusations against each other. 

Example: Expect stormy skies on your commute this morning—it looks like we’ll get some intense rainstorms starting around 9 o’clock.

Where does stormy come from?

The first records of the word stormy come from around the second half of the 1100s. It derives from the Old English stormig, also meaning “stormy.” Stormy uses the suffix y to turn the noun storm into an adjective. (The same thing is done for other weather conditions, such as windy, cloudy, and rainy.)

It was a dark and stormy night is a cliché way to start a story, but you know exactly what it means—the wind is howling, the rain is beating against the window, the thunder is shaking the house. Most literally, stormy refers to the conditions of a storm or describes the conditions right before a storm happens. When someone tells you the weather has been stormy, they usually mean it’s been intensely rainy and windy, perhaps with some thunder and lightning, not just a light drizzle. Stormy can also be applied to places affected by a storm, as in stormy seas or the stormy atmosphere of Jupiter. 

When stormy is used metaphorically, it’s often applied to situations or relationships that involve intense or frequent arguments whose violence and destruction are likened to that of a storm. In phrases like a stormy marriage, the word stormy implies the opposite of calmness—strong winds and thunder are used as a metaphor for loud, contentious arguments. It can also be used to describe a dark mood, a strong temper, or other similar individual traits.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to stormy?

  • storm (noun)
  • storminess (noun)
  • stormily (adverb)
  • unstormily (adverb)
  • unstorminess (noun)

What are some synonyms for stormy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with stormy



What are some words that often get used in discussing stormy?


How is stormy used in real life?

Stormy is commonly used in both a literal and figurative way. In both cases, it’s fairly informal.



Try using stormy!

Is sto,rmy used correctly in the following sentence? 

Her stormy expression implied that things had not gone well.

How to use stormy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stormy

/ (ˈstɔːmɪ) /

adjective stormier or stormiest
characterized by storms
subject to, involving, or characterized by violent disturbance or emotional outburst

Derived forms of stormy

stormily, adverbstorminess, noun
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