thunderstorm

[ thuhn-der-stawrm ]
/ ˈθʌn dərˌstɔrm /

noun

a transient storm of lightning and thunder, usually with rain and gusty winds, sometimes with hail or snow, produced by cumulonimbus clouds.

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What does “barren” mean?
Also called electrical storm.

Origin of thunderstorm

First recorded in 1645–55; thunder + storm
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for thunderstorm

British Dictionary definitions for thunderstorm

thunderstorm
/ (ˈθʌndəˌstɔːm) /

noun

a storm caused by strong rising air currents and characterized by thunder and lightning and usually heavy rain or hail
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

Scientific definitions for thunderstorm

thunderstorm
[ thŭndər-stôrm′ ]

A storm of heavy rain accompanied by lightning, thunder, wind, and sometimes hail. Thunderstorms occur when moist air near the ground becomes heated, especially in the summer, and rises, forming cumulonimbus clouds that produce precipitation. Electrical charges accumulate at the bases of the clouds until lightning is discharged. Air in the path of the lightning expands as a result of being heated, causing thunder. Thunderstorms can also be caused by temperature changes triggered by volcanic eruptions and forest fires, and they occur with much greater frequency at the equatorial regions than in polar regions.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.