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

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 But then the World Cup came along and with it, a cloudburst of unfiltered national happiness. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Even With Mo Salah in the World Cup, Egypt Can’t Seem to Catch a Break," 23 June 2018 Making matters worse with this flood were days of rain prior to Saturday’s cloudburst, resulting in saturated ground and soggy lawns, leaving runoff with no place to go. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "As the Ohio River recedes, more rain is coming as region faces 'tremendous cleanup'," 26 Feb. 2018 In July 1979, cloudbursts associated with tropical storm Claudette brought 43 inches of rain to Alvin, Texas, just south of Houston, an amount that remains the heaviest 24-hour U.S. rainfall. Tom Skilling,, "Ask Tom: Have other hurricanes brought serious flooding to Texas?," 27 Aug. 2017

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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Statistics for cloudburst

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for cloudburst

The first known use of cloudburst was in 1869

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More Definitions for cloudburst



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cloudburst

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cloudburst

Spanish Central: Translation of cloudburst

Nglish: Translation of cloudburst for Spanish Speakers

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