noun Meteorology.

the upper portion of a cumulus cloud characterized by dense, sharply defined, cauliflowerlike upper parts and sometimes by great verticality.

Origin of thunderhead

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55; thunder + head Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thunderhead

Contemporary Examples of thunderhead

Historical Examples of thunderhead

  • She still felt the effects of her adventure with the thunderhead.

  • After a spell like this they say of every thunderhead that appears, "That looks promising."

    In Pastures Green

    Peter McArthur

  • If it wasnt so early in the summer Id say a thunderhead was fixin up to give us a big razoo, he ventured.

    Dust of the Desert

    Robert Welles Ritchie

British Dictionary definitions for thunderhead



mainly US and Canadian the anvil-shaped top of a cumulonimbus cloud
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 thunderhead

"high-piled cloud," 1861, from thunder (n.) + head (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper