a localized, violently destructive windstorm occurring over land, especially in the Middle West, and characterized by a long, funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground and made visible by condensation and debris.Compare waterspout(def 3).
a violent squall or whirlwind of small extent, as one of those occurring during the summer on the west coast of Africa.
a violent outburst, as of emotion or activity.
(initial capital letter)Military. a supersonic, two-seat, multipurpose military aircraft produced jointly by West Germany, Britain, and Italy and capable of flying in darkness and bad weather.
Also called: cyclone, (US and Canadian informal)twistera violent storm with winds whirling around a small area of extremely low pressure, usually characterized by a dark funnel-shaped cloud causing damage along its path
a small but violent squall or whirlwind, such as those occurring on the West African coast
any violently active or destructive person or thing
(often capital)a type of dinghy, designed to be crewed by two people
1550s, navigator's word for violent windy thunderstorm in the tropical Atlantic, probably a mangled borrowing from Spanish tronada "thunderstorm," from tronar "to thunder," from Latin tonare "to thunder" (see thunder). Metathesis of -o- and -r- in modern spelling influenced by Spanish tornar "to twist, turn," from Latin tornare "to turn." Meaning "extremely violent whirlwind" is first found 1620s.
A violently rotating column of air extending from a cumulonimbus cloud to the Earth, ranging in width from a few meters to more than a kilometer and whirling at speeds between 64 km (40 mi) and 509 km (316 mi) per hour or higher with comparable updrafts in the center of the vortex. The vortex may contain several smaller vortices rotating within it. Tornadoes typically take the form of a twisting, funnel-shaped cloud extending downward from storm clouds, often reaching the ground, and dissolving into thin, ropelike clouds as the tornado dissipates. Tornadoes may travel from a few dozen meters to hundreds of kilometers along the ground. Tornadoes usually form in the tail end of violent thunderstorms, with weaker funnels sometimes forming in groups along a leading squall line of an advancing cold front or in areas near a hurricane. The strongest tornadoes, which may last several hours and travel hundreds of kilometers, can cause massive destruction in a relatively narrow strip along their path. The causes of tornado formation are not well understood.