characterized by or subject to tempests: the tempestuous ocean.
of the nature of or resembling a tempest: a tempestuous wind.
tumultuous; turbulent: a tempestuous period in history.

Origin of tempestuous

1500–10; < Late Latin tempestuōsus, derivative of tempestus, variant of tempestās tempest (see -ous); replacing earlier tempeste(u)ous, tempestious (see -eous, -ious)
Related formstem·pes·tu·ous·ly, adverbtem·pes·tu·ous·ness, nounun·tem·pes·tu·ous, adjectiveun·tem·pes·tu·ous·ly, adverbun·tem·pes·tu·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for tempestuous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tempestuous

Contemporary Examples of tempestuous

Historical Examples of tempestuous

  • The sun went down on its wrath, and its night was tempestuous.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • The Sabbath of the eleventh of March was wet and tempestuous.

  • "A tempestuous wind called Euroclydon," repeated the reader.

    An Old Sailor's Yarns

    Nathaniel Ames

  • He is a tempestuous person, but can be very grave when he likes.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • He was short-breathed, asthmatic and possessed a tempestuous temper.

    Up the Forked River

    Edward Sylvester Ellis

British Dictionary definitions for tempestuous



of or relating to a tempest
violent or stormya tempestuous love affair
Derived Formstempestuously, adverbtempestuousness, 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

Word Origin and History for tempestuous

mid-15c., from Latin tempestuosus, from tempestas (see tempest). The figurative sense is older in English; literal sense is from c.1500. Related: Tempestuously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper