Definition of fulminate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈfʊlmɪneɪt/
Pronunciation: /ˈfʌlmɪneɪt/


[no object]
1Express vehement protest: all fulminated against the new curriculum
More example sentences
  • The monks opposed Abelard and convinced the Church to condemn him - twice - and the papacy periodically fulminated against the rationalist discourse carried out in [his university] classrooms.
  • His early, all-male Hamlet, complete with semi-naked gravediggers, had the newspapers, both tabloid and broadsheet, fulminating at his audacity.
  • So the Senate rule that liberals fulminated against for decades has become sacrosanct.
protest, rail, rage, rant, thunder, storm, declaim, inveigh, speak out, make/take a stand;
denounce, decry, condemn, criticize, censure, disparage, attack, execrate, arraign
informal mouth off about, kick up a fuss/stink about, go on about
rare animadvert, excoriate, vociferate about, vituperate
2 literary Explode violently or flash like lightning: thunder fulminated around the house
explode, flash, crack, detonate, blow up, go off;
3 (usually as adjective fulminating) Medicine (Of a disease or symptom) develop suddenly and severely: fulminating appendicitis
More example sentences
  • The course of the anemia ranges from mild with gradually developing symptoms to acute with fulminating symptoms.
  • The sudden, aggressive and fulminating impact of the carcinoma had rendered him incapable of continuing his responsibilities as father to his daughters.
  • In some cases, there may not be any symptoms, while in others it may produce mild to moderate dysentery or even fulminating dysentery with fever, severe abdominal cramps and rectal pain.


A salt or ester of fulminic acid.
Example sentences
  • In the short span of years between 1807 and 1820, metallic fulminates proved an efficient method for igniting powder charges and developed into the familiar and practical percussion cap.
  • It took the detonation from his mercury fulminate blasting cap to initiate the explosion.


Late Middle English: from Latin fulminat- 'struck by lightning', from fulmen, fulmin- 'lightning'. The earliest sense (derived from medieval Latin fulminare) was 'denounce formally', later 'issue formal censures' (originally said of the Pope). A sense 'emit thunder and lightning', based on the original Latin meaning, arose in the early 17th century, and hence 'explode violently' (late 17th century).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ful¦min|ate

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.