Sturm und Drang

\ ˌshtu̇rm-u̇nt-ˈdräŋ How to pronounce Sturm und Drang (audio) , ˌstu̇rm-, -ənt- \

Definition of Sturm und Drang

1 : a late 18th century German literary movement characterized by works containing rousing action and high emotionalism that often deal with the individual's revolt against society
2 : turmoil

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Sturm und Drang comes from German, where it literally means "storm and stress." Although it’s now a generic synonym of "turmoil," the term was originally used in English to identify a late 18th-century German literary movement whose works were filled with rousing action and high emotionalism, and often dealt with an individual rebelling against the injustices of society. The movement took its name from the 1776 play Sturm und Drang, a work by one of its proponents, dramatist and novelist Friedrich von Klinger. Although the literary movement was well known in Germany in the late 1700s, the term "Sturm und Drang" didn’t appear in English prose until the mid-1800s.

Examples of Sturm und Drang in a Sentence

in a year filled with corporate Sturm und Drang, the company was headed by no fewer than three different CEOs

First Known Use of Sturm und Drang

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Sturm und Drang

German, literally, storm and stress, from Sturm und Drang (1776), drama by Friedrich von Klinger †1831 German novelist and dramatist

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The first known use of Sturm und Drang was in 1845

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Cite this Entry

“Sturm und Drang.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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