cloud·​burst | \ ˈklau̇d-ˌbərst How to pronounce cloudburst (audio) \

Definition of cloudburst

1 : a sudden copious rainfall
2 : a sudden outpouring : deluge a cloudburst of anger

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Examples of cloudburst in a Sentence

A cloudburst caused the river to flood. the weatherman warned of possible cloudbursts in the afternoon
Recent Examples on the Web Bison edge along a slough nearby as Horse Capture speaks; cloudbursts circle. National Geographic, "Two visions collide amid push to restore Montana plains," 16 Jan. 2020 Around them a cloudburst of rubber balls streamed through the air, like unfed birds sweeping in toward death. Mimi Montgomery, Outside Online, "Grown-Ups Need to Play More. Adult Recess Can Help.," 22 Oct. 2019 Ruined once more, Ellicott City endured an hours-long cloudburst that drowned the town Sunday. Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, "The second 1,000-year rainstorm in two years engulfed Ellicott City. Here’s how it happened.," 28 May 2018 In summer, runoff from cloudbursts etches into the softer limestones and sluices through the deep runnels. National Geographic, "Everything to know about Bryce Canyon National Park," 19 Aug. 2019 In neighbouring Uttarakhand, cloudbursts have wreaked havoc in a dozen villages of Uttarkashi district, washing away houses and swathes of agricultural land. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "At least 350 have already died in India’s monsoon floods this year—and it is not over yet," 19 Aug. 2019 These tidal floods can have big impacts apart from the extreme effects of the hurricanes, tropical storms, and cloudbursts that are starting to arrive this summer. Susan Crawford, WIRED, "Computer Models, Epic Floods, and the Fate of Coastal Cities," 18 July 2019 Earlier in the afternoon, thunderstorms packing winds of around 60 mph moved through the far southwest suburbs, as many parts of the Chicago area were hit by cloudbursts. Liam Ford,, "2nd round of thunderstorms rolls into Chicago area as swimmers warned from beaches Friday," 5 July 2018 Temperatures plummeted by 15 degrees in less than 30 minutes during a cloudburst that marked the change in weather systems, the Globe reported. John R. Ellement,, "The longest heat wave in Boston lasted 9 days," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cloudburst.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cloudburst

1869, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for cloudburst

Time Traveler

The first known use of cloudburst was in 1869

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Cite this Entry

“Cloudburst.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for cloudburst


How to pronounce cloudburst (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cloudburst

: a brief time when it rains very hard : a sudden downpour


cloud·​burst | \ ˈklau̇d-ˌbərst How to pronounce cloudburst (audio) \

Kids Definition of cloudburst

: a sudden heavy rainfall

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More from Merriam-Webster on cloudburst

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cloudburst

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cloudburst

Spanish Central: Translation of cloudburst

Nglish: Translation of cloudburst for Spanish Speakers

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