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[stawrm] /stɔrm/
a disturbance of the normal condition of the atmosphere, manifesting itself by winds of unusual force or direction, often accompanied by rain, snow, hail, thunder, and lightning, or flying sand or dust.
a heavy fall of rain, snow, or hail, or a violent outbreak of thunder and lightning, unaccompanied by strong winds.
Also called violent storm. Meteorology. a wind of 64–72 miles per hour (29–32 m/sec).
a violent military assault on a fortified place, strong position, or the like.
a heavy or sudden volley or discharge:
a storm of criticism; a storm of bullets.
a violent disturbance of affairs, as a civil, political, social, or domestic commotion.
a violent outburst or outbreak of expression:
a storm of applause.
Informal. storm window.
verb (used without object)
(of the wind or weather) to blow with unusual force, or to rain, snow, hail, etc., especially with violence (usually used impersonally with it as subject):
It stormed all day.
to rage or complain with violence or fury:
He stormed angrily at me.
to deliver a violent attack or fire, as with artillery:
The troops stormed against the garrison.
to rush to an assault or attack:
The tanks stormed towards the city.
to rush angrily:
to storm out of a room.
verb (used with object)
to subject to or as if to a storm:
The salesman stormed them with offers.
to utter or say with angry vehemence:
The strikers stormed their demands.
to attack or assault (persons, places, or things):
to storm a fortress.
storm in a teacup. teacup (def 3).
Origin of storm
before 900; (noun) Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch storm, German Sturm, Old Norse stormr; (v.) Middle English stormen, derivative of the noun (compare obsolete sturme, Middle English sturmen, Old English styrman, denominative v. from the same Germanic base as storm); akin to stir1
Related forms
stormlike, adjective
outstorm, verb (used with object)
unstormed, adjective
1. gale, hurricane, tempest, tornado, cyclone, squall, wind, blizzard. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for storms
  • The region is prone to occasional, violent dust storms, which can severely reduce visibility.
  • Nobody storms out of a room because he or she believes that students are going to suffer some injury in the future.
  • Visit this windswept landscape now, when the ocean is churning but storms are rare.
  • But weather continues to threaten delay as wave after wave of tropical storms moves through the region.
  • Surfing is increasingly becoming a winter sport, since the cold-month storms bring bigger and better waves.
  • Sometimes the leading edge of one of these storms was a mile-high.
  • There were fires worldwide, a tsunami more than half a mile high and storms of acid rain.
  • Extreme heat, dramatic daily temperature swings, and violent storms are the norm in this inhospitable place.
  • The long hull rolled unpleasantly in storms, and accidents at sea brought costly repairs and delays.
  • Poor drainage, so that the ubiquitous storms create floods of biblical proportion.
British Dictionary definitions for storms


  1. a violent weather condition of strong winds, rain, hail, thunder, lightning, blowing sand, snow, etc
  2. (as modifier): storm signal, storm sail
  3. (in combination): stormproof
(meteorol) a violent gale of force 10 on the Beaufort scale reaching speeds of 55 to 63 mph
a strong or violent reaction: a storm of protest
a direct assault on a stronghold
a heavy discharge or rain, as of bullets or missiles
short for storm window (sense 1)
(Brit) storm in a teacup, a violent fuss or disturbance over a trivial matter US equivalent tempest in a teapot
take by storm
  1. to capture or overrun by a violent assault
  2. to overwhelm and enthral
to attack or capture (something) suddenly and violently
(intransitive) to be vociferously angry
(intransitive) to move or rush violently or angrily
(intransitive; with it as subject) to rain, hail, or snow hard and be very windy, often with thunder or lightning
Derived Forms
stormlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English, related to Old Norse stormr, German Sturm; see stir1
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
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Word Origin and History for storms



Old English storm, from Proto-Germanic *sturmaz (cf. Old Norse stormr, Old Saxon, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch storm, Old High German and German sturm). Old French estour "onset, tumult," Italian stormo are Germanic loan-words. Figurative (non-meteorological) sense was in late Old English.

Storm-door first recorded 1878; storm-water is from 1879; storm-window is attested from 1824. Storm surge attested from 1929.


of the wind, "to rage, be violent," c.1400, from storm (n.). Military sense (1640s) first used by Oliver Cromwell. Related: Stormed; storming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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storms in Medicine

storm (stôrm)
An exacerbation of symptoms or a crisis in the course of a disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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storms in Science
  1. A low-pressure atmospheric disturbance resulting in strong winds accompanied by rain, snow, or other precipitation and often by thunder and lightning.

  2. A wind with a speed from 103 to 117 km (64 to 73 mi) per hour, rating 11 on the Beaufort scale.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for storms


Related Terms

joe blow

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with storms
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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