Definition of tornado in English:

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Pronunciation: /tɔːˈneɪdəʊ/

noun (plural tornadoes or tornados)

1A mobile, destructive vortex of violently rotating winds having the appearance of a funnel-shaped cloud and advancing beneath a large storm system.
Example sentences
  • These clouds often bring thunder and lightning, and can also bring funnel clouds or even tornadoes.
  • Floods, especially flash floods, kill more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes, wind storms or lightning.
  • Treat all funnel clouds and tornadoes seriously and avoid when possible.
whirlwind, windstorm, cyclone, typhoon, tropical storm/cyclone, tempest, dust devil, storm, superstorm, hurricane, gale, squall
North American informal twister
1.1A person or thing characterized by violent or devastating action or emotion: teenagers caught up in a tornado of sexual confusion
More example sentences
  • You came and left like a tornado of emotions… and you forever marked my heart.
  • It felt like a tornado of a thousand emotions was tearing away at my insides.
  • Despite the absence of Decira, the pace did not slow down a bit, and the world continued to spin, catching all who remained in its tornado of confusion.



Pronunciation: /tɔːˈnadɪk/
Example sentences
  • Combine that with the other things we've been hearing like the one you reported during our weather report that there might be tornadic activity coming into this area in about 10 minutes ago - 10 minutes or so.
  • The executive administrator there at the airport saying that he feels as though most of that damage was not just caused by Hurricane Katrina, but possibly by tornadic activity.
  • The TV news overhyped it, of course; even after the threat of tornadic activity had passed the weatherpersons couldn't lose the grim sound of DOOM in their voices.


Mid 16th century (denoting a violent thunderstorm of the tropical Atlantic Ocean): perhaps an alteration of Spanish tronada 'thunderstorm' (from tronar 'to thunder') by association with Spanish tornar 'to turn'.

  • A tornado was originally a violent thunderstorm over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The word may be an alteration of Spanish tronada ‘thunderstorm’, influenced by tornar ‘to turn’, a reference to the shape of a ‘twister’. See also typhoon, tsunami

Words that rhyme with tornado

carbonado, dado, Feydeau, gambado, Oviedo, Toledo

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: tor|nado

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