ful·​mi·​nate | \ ˈfu̇l-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce fulminate (audio) , ˈfəl- \
fulminated; fulminating

Definition of fulminate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to utter or send out with denunciation fulminate a decree

intransitive verb

: to send forth censures or invectives fulminating against government regulators— Mark Singer



Definition of fulminate (Entry 2 of 2)

: an often explosive salt (such as mercury fulminate) containing the group −CNO

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fulminate


fulmination \ ˌfu̇l-​mə-​ˈnā-​shən How to pronounce fulminate (audio) , ˌfəl-​ \ noun

Synonyms for fulminate

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?


Lightning strikes more than once in the history of "fulminate." That word comes from the Latin fulminare, meaning "to strike," a verb usually used to refer to lightning strikes - not surprising since it sprang from "fulmen," Latin for lightning. When "fulminate" was adopted into English in the 15th century, it lost much of its ancestral thunder and was used largely as a technical term for the issuing of formal denunciations by ecclesiastical authorities. But its original lightning spark remains in its suggestion of tirades so vigorous that, as one 18th-century bishop put it, they seem to be delivered "with the air of one who [has] divine Vengeance at his disposal."

Examples of fulminate in a Sentence

Verb She was fulminating about the dangers of smoking. The editorial fulminated against the proposed tax increase.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The candidate himself would fulminate in his own speech about violence in the streets, but Don Jr. eloquently heralded his father’s common touch. Sarah Ellison, Washington Post, "Donald Trump Jr. and the future of Trumpism: He upended expectations four years ago. What is he now?," 24 Aug. 2020 As the two walked to the car, Sherman fulminated about how the working classes were shiftless to a man, corrupted by welfare and socialism. ... William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Bernie and Coronavirus Capitalism," 13 Apr. 2020 Coaches such as Leach and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, who also fulminated against the bill, don’t want players to be able to get out from under their paternal thumb. BostonGlobe.com, "California’s Fair Pay to Play Act was signed into law," 20 Oct. 2019 In answer, a furious Trump weaved and bobbed, fulminating about walls, fake news, and hoaxes, but of course, never going near the question. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “China Should Start an Investigation Into the Bidens!”," 6 Oct. 2019 Where Republicans could fulminate freely, Democrats had to go somewhat gingerly, trying to thread the needle, to hold a lawless president responsible for violating the Constitution without setting off a backlash that would hand him a second term. BostonGlobe.com, "Wednesday was an historic day. On that much, the president and the lawmakers who would vote to impeach him agree.," 19 Dec. 2019 Despite the fulminating royal statement, every Thai knows that no one can beat the king himself for ingratitude, misbehaviour and disloyalty. The Economist, "King Vajiralongkorn dismisses his official mistress," 24 Oct. 2019 There are football fans and observers fulminating against the idea of additional playoff participants. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "With NFL playoff qualifiers, more would be better," 4 Sep. 2019 In a year in which politicians have fulminated about global cybertampering with elections, this recount was decidedly low-tech, with election workers tallying votes with handwritten red hash marks. John Leland, New York Times, "Wrangling Begins in Queens D.A. Recount, Recalling Florida Intrigue in 2000," 15 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While Washington fulminates, progress toward an RCEP is gradually moving the world’s economic center of gravity into Beijing’s orbit. Washington Post, "Want to Take On China? You’re Going to Need Some Help," 20 Sep. 2019 Pundits on the left are fond of reminding us of how Trump storms and fulminates, the White House itself unable to contain his petulance and rage. Fred Turner, Harper's magazine, "Machine Politics," 10 Jan. 2019

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fulminate


Middle English, from Medieval Latin fulminatus, past participle of fulminare, from Latin, to strike (of lightning), from fulmin-, fulmen lightning; akin to Latin flagrare to burn — more at black entry 1


fulminic acid, from Latin fulmin-, fulmen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fulminate

Time Traveler for fulminate

Time Traveler

The first known use of fulminate was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about fulminate

Statistics for fulminate

Cite this Entry

“Fulminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fulminate. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fulminate



English Language Learners Definition of fulminate

formal : to complain loudly or angrily

More from Merriam-Webster on fulminate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fulminate

Comments on fulminate

What made you want to look up fulminate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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