down·​burst | \ -ˌbərst \

Definition of downburst

: a powerful downdraft usually associated with a thunderstorm that strikes the ground and deflects in all directions also : microburst

Examples of downburst in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Rain, hail and cold air hits the ground and spreads across the landscape in something called a downburst. Greg Porter, Washington Post, "This mesmerizing storm makes it look like a bomb went off over Memphis last night," 13 July 2018 But in a derecho, the windy blasts from dozens of extreme storm downdrafts (called downbursts) coalesce into a single, massive wind surge that races forward at speeds of up to 60 to 70 mph. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Northeast severe-weather threat: Destructive winds could hit New York and Boston this evening," 15 May 2018 The temperature tumbled, as the downbursts cascaded through the atmosphere. Brian Schutmaat, Smithsonian, "Racing the Storm: The Story of the Mobile Bay Sailing Disaster," 25 Apr. 2015 On Mobile Bay, the downbursts sent an invisible wave of air rolling ahead of the storm front. Brian Schutmaat, Smithsonian, "Racing the Storm: The Story of the Mobile Bay Sailing Disaster," 25 Apr. 2015 The strongest of these storms may contain damaging downburst winds and hail to an inch in diameter. Domingo Ramirez Jr.,, "Some North Texans might get rain, some others will stay dry," 1 June 2017 This intensification may have been aided by the rear-flank downburst. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post, "Remembering the La Plata tornado, 15 years later," 28 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downburst.' 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 downburst

1978, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for downburst

The first known use of downburst was in 1978

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More from Merriam-Webster on downburst

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downburst Encyclopedia article about downburst

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a servile follower or underling

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