noun \tr-ˈnā-(ˌ)dō\

: a violent and destructive storm in which powerful winds move around a central point

plural tor·na·does or tor·na·dos

Full Definition of TORNADO

archaic :  a tropical thunderstorm
a :  a squall accompanying a thunderstorm in Africa
b :  a violent destructive whirling wind accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud that progresses in a narrow path over the land
:  a violent windstorm :  whirlwind

Examples of TORNADO

  1. in the path of a tornado

Origin of TORNADO

modification of Spanish tronada thunderstorm, from tronar to thunder, from Latin tonare — more at thunder
First Known Use: 1556

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms

monsoon, occlusion, ozone, rime, squall, zephyr

Rhymes with TORNADO


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Violent, low-pressure storm, relatively small in diameter but with very rapidly rotating winds and an intense updraft near the centre. The relatively low pressure at the centre of a tornado's funnel-like vortex causes cooling and condensation, making the storm visible as a revolving column of cloud, which is called the funnel. Tornadoes normally travel at 30–40 mph (50–65 kph). The winds around the vortex may exceed 300 mph (500 kph) in extreme events. Tornadoes often occur in groups.


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