Definition of storm in English:

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Pronunciation: /stôrm/


1A violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow.
Example sentences
  • These kinds of storms can produce rain, hail snow, thunder and lightning.
  • Hampshire was battered by high-speed winds and heavy rain yesterday as violent storms hit the county.
  • The storms also brought strong winds and frequent lightning, we are told.
windstorm, tempest, whirlwind, gale, strong wind, high wind, squall;
cyclone, tornado, twister, dust devil, dust storm;
rainstorm, thunderstorm, thundershower;
monsoon, typhoon, hurricane, tropical storm;
hailstorm, snowstorm, blizzard
1.1 (also storm system) An intense low-pressure weather system; a cyclone.
Example sentences
  • The whole storm system may be up to 10 miles high and on average 500 miles wide.
  • The storm system is still causing flash floods along the Atlantic coast.
  • A storm system late last week brought welcome precipitation and limited relief to north central and northeast Nebraska, often with 2-4 inches of rain.
1.2A wind of force 10 on the Beaufort scale (48-55 knots or 55-63 mph).
Example sentences
  • Elsewhere in the county, fire crews had a relatively quiet weekend despite the storm force winds.
  • As the storm force winds abated late on Thursday evening conditions did improve in most areas.
  • In the early part of the month the Co. Down coast was battered by one of the worst storms for a number of years with easterly winds gusting up to severe storm force 11.
1.3A heavy discharge of missiles or blows: two men were taken by a storm of bullets
More example sentences
  • The referee halted the fight in the final round after a storm of blows followed a standing eight count early in the early seconds of the round.
  • I saw Wyatt pummeling Adrian under a storm of blows and I began to understand why I had not found a calling card from Ace.
  • Sighing, she jumped on top of the rock and was immediately blown backwards by a storm of fire.
volley, salvo, fusillade, barrage, cannonade;
shower, spray, hail, rain
2 [usually in singular] A tumultuous reaction; an uproar or controversy: the book caused a storm in South America she has been at the center of a storm concerning payments
More example sentences
  • This was my first exposure to the raging storm of the creation-day controversy.
  • However, a new poll suggests that the 39-year-old's public appeal has not been affected by the storm over drugs.
  • Closer to home, the Irish Times, once the stately ship of Irish journalism, continues to be battered by storms and controversy.
uproar, outcry, fuss, furor, brouhaha, rumpus, trouble, hue and cry, controversy
informal to-do, hoo-ha, hullabaloo, ballyhoo, stink, row
2.1A violent or noisy outburst of a specified feeling or reaction: the disclosure raised a storm of protest
More example sentences
  • When Dylan himself decided to make the transition from folk hero to electric messiah, he found himself at the centre of a storm of protest.
  • After a storm of protest, the conservation group agreed to talk to animal welfare groups to see if there was a way to save both hedgehogs and birds.
  • The proposals for extra drinking time were met with a storm of protest from neighbours who said it would fuel late-night noise.
outburst, outbreak, explosion, eruption, outpouring, surge, blaze, flare-up, wave
3 (storms) North American Storm windows.
4A direct assault by troops on a fortified place.
Example sentences
  • The third, and presumably most venturesome of all castle assaults was the storm.


1 [no object] Move angrily or forcefully in a specified direction: she burst into tears and stormed off he stormed out of the house
More example sentences
  • They promptly blamed each other for driving him away, and stormed off in opposite directions in the vain hope of finding their way back to the palace.
  • At last, Cora and Arlan broke away and stormed off in opposite directions.
  • He then turned on his heel and stormed off in the direction of the cucumber sandwiches.
stride angrily, stomp, march, stalk, flounce, stamp
1.1 [with direct speech] Shout (something) angrily; rage: “Don’t patronize me!” she stormed
rant, rave, shout, bellow, roar, thunder, rage
1.2Move forcefully and decisively to a specified position in a game or contest: he barged past and stormed to the checkered flag
More example sentences
  • His club colleague James Callery, now operating at centre-forward, came storming into the game in the final 10 minutes.
  • Biarritz dominated for over an hour but came agonisingly close to throwing it away after Ulster stormed back into the game.
  • Connelly was again on target to complete his hat-trick and put Forres in a winning position but Nairn stormed back with goals from Gary Farquhar and a winner from Kellacher.
2 [with object] (Of troops) suddenly attack and capture (a building or other place) by means of force: Indian commandos stormed a hijacked plane early today (as noun storming) the storming of the Bastille
More example sentences
  • The siege finally ended the following day when troops stormed the building.
  • When troops stormed the building, 129 hostages and 41 guerrillas were killed.
  • With the help of military deserters, they stormed the prison and forced its surrender, massacring the commander who had fired on them early in the attack.
3 [no object] (Of the weather) be violent, with strong winds and usually rain, thunder, lightning, or snow: when it stormed in the day, I shoveled the drive before Harry came home
More example sentences
  • It was practically dark as we prepared to put the sign onto the posts when a strong wind stormed through bringing an icy rain and hail with it.
  • He often provided a roof over my head when it stormed or the snow was deep outside.
  • That night it stormed again and in the morning they set out through the driving rain, though the thunder and lightning had stopped.



go down a storm

British Be enthusiastically received by an audience.
Example sentences
  • Amazingly, the film went down a storm among critics who had the chance to catch up with it, in America.
  • The film has already gone down a storm in America, where it became one of the best-reviewed movies of the year.
  • The rain held off long enough, though, for a happy afternoon which went down a storm with the performers and audience alike.

the calm (or lull) before the storm

A period of unusual tranquility or stability that seems likely to presage difficult times.
Example sentences
  • Moreover, I think opponents will look back at the current period as the lull before the storm because forces are at work that should actually boost the movement's progress considerably.
  • I know that the worst is yet to come - this is merely the calm before the storm, so to speak, as January is usually the snowiest month here - so some effective indoor activity would be a good idea.
  • Thanksgiving used to be the calm before the storm, the day to rest before the traditional beginning of the holiday shopping season, a day usually spent at home with family and friends.

storm and stress

another term for Sturm und Drang.

a storm in a teacup

British term for a tempest in a teapot (see tempest).
Example sentences
  • On the other hand, some of the ‘stories’ that have caused a great deal of excitement are no more than a storm in a teacup.
  • It wasn't corruption, but it wasn't a storm in a teacup either.
  • All this furore about same-sex marriages seems a storm in a teacup to me.

take something by storm

(Of troops) capture a place by a sudden and violent attack.
Example sentences
  • Because Poole's force was not strong enough to take the town by storm, an anti-Bolshevik rising had to be organized in the town and co-ordinated with the landing.
  • Things escalate when a SWAT team follow the police onto the scene and the macho head officer threatens to take the place by storm.
  • Saladin's brother, al-Adil, took the city by storm and sold the entire population into slavery.
5.1Have great and rapid success in a particular place or with a particular group of people: his first collection took the fashion world by storm
More example sentences
  • Just as Gregorian chants took the charts by storm in the 1990s, the producer of a new CD of Gaelic psalm singing is hoping to touch the public's heart.
  • Fifty years ago, rock 'n' roll took the music world by storm.
  • In 1937, they took the racetrack by storm, winning everywhere and lifting a quickly obsessed nation out of its doldrums.

—— up a storm

chiefly North American Perform the specified action with great enthusiasm and energy: the band could really play up a storm
More example sentences
  • Marshall didn't speak a word of Spanish before he arrived in Cuba; now he's talking up a storm.
  • A couple at the table behind us was smoking up a storm and it kept drifting over me.
  • The whole time, I was sweating up a storm, thinking that he'd still frisk me and find the stash in my jeans pocket.



Pronunciation: /ˈstôrmˌpro͞of/
Example sentences
  • People must learn to coexist with our coasts, live in practical areas, and, where feasible, build the necessary defenses to stormproof our society.
  • More than two dozen police cars were moved into a stormproof building owned by a large building-supply store.
  • There was clear glass behind him, reinforced stuff, shatterproof, stormproof, and beyond it was a creature.


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch storm and German Sturm, probably also to the verb stir1. The verb dates from late Middle English in sense 3 of the verb.

Words that rhyme with storm

conform, corm, dorm, form, forme, haulm, lukewarm, Maugham, misinform, norm, outperform, perform, shawm, swarm, transform, underperform, warm

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: storm

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