down·​burst | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌbərst How to pronounce downburst (audio) \

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 One of these cells pulsed to severe levels over eastern Fairfax County, blasting the region with a downburst of damaging wind. Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2021 Rain is not a widespread issue for the Friday morning drive, but there is a chance of getting caught in a quick downburst. Chelsea Prince, ajc, 8 Oct. 2021 On Tuesday, scores of trees came down in eastern Fairfax County and the District as a severe thunderstorm generated intense downburst winds that radar estimated near 60 mph. Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2021 There was significant damage in Briar caused by a very strong downburst & no indications that a tornado occurred. Dallas News, 30 Aug. 2020 Some downburst winds in the Mojave Desert area could be as strong as 70 mph, officials said. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2021 Stronger storms could produce downburst winds and some heavy rain. Dallas News, 27 June 2021 Just a few minutes later, a second downburst initiates and is imaged by Doppler radar, as the multicell slides east-northeast. Washington Post, 27 May 2021 Additional showers and storms will be possible late Sunday afternoon and evening once again with the potential for strong downburst winds. Dallas News, 30 Aug. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of downburst

1977, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About downburst

Time Traveler for downburst

Time Traveler

The first known use of downburst was in 1977

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near downburst




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for downburst

Last Updated

9 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Downburst.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on downburst Encyclopedia article about downburst


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!