[ tem-pist ]
/ ˈtɛm pɪst /


a violent windstorm, especially one with rain, hail, or snow.
a violent commotion, disturbance, or tumult.

verb (used with object)

to affect by or as by a tempest; disturb violently.

Nearby words

  1. temperature inversion,
  2. temperature spot,
  3. temperature-humidity index,
  4. tempered,
  5. tempering,
  6. tempest in a teapot,
  7. tempest, the,
  8. tempest-tossed,
  9. tempestuous,
  10. tempi


    tempest in a teacup. teacup(def 3).

Origin of tempest

1200–50; Middle English tempeste < Old French < Vulgar Latin *tempesta, for Latin tempestās season, weather, storm, equivalent to tempes- (variant stem of tempus time) + -tās -ty2

Tempest, The


a comedy (1611) by Shakespeare.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tempest

British Dictionary definitions for tempest


/ (ˈtɛmpɪst) /


mainly literary a violent wind or storm
a violent commotion, uproar, or disturbance


(tr) poetic to agitate or disturb violently

Word Origin for tempest

C13: from Old French tempeste, from Latin tempestās storm, from tempus time

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 tempest



"violent storm," mid-13c., from Old French tempeste (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *tempesta, from Latin tempestas (genitive tempestatis) "storm, weather, season," also "commotion, disturbance," related to tempus "time, season" (see temporal). Sense evolution is from "period of time" to "period of weather," to "bad weather" to "storm." Words for "weather" were originally words for "time" in languages from Russia to Brittany. Figurative sense of "violent commotion" is recorded from early 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper