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

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Other Words from fulminate


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

Synonyms for fulminate

Synonyms: Verb

bluster, huff, rant, rave, spout

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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


She was fulminating about the dangers of smoking. The editorial fulminated against the proposed tax increase.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog, who has fumed and fulminated over the DWP for years, was unsurprised by any of the week’s developments. Steve Lopezcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: At L.A. City Hall, incompetence and corruption are close cousins," 24 July 2019 After fulminating over the president's betrayal, Mas Canosa vowed to find a way in Congress to prevent U.S. presidents from striking further deals with Havana. Christopher Marquis, miamiherald, "Jorge Mas Canosa dead at 58," 15 June 2018 For the second day in a row, President Trump sent a series of tweets fulminating against America’s supposedly weak immigration policies and attacking Democrats for sabotaging a program his own administration is trying to end. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Repeats Nonsensical DACA Claim in Morning Tweets," 2 Apr. 2018 His chief adviser, Seumas Milne, devoted much of his journalistic career at the Guardian to fulminating against American imperialism. The Economist, "BagehotThis is a bad time for the special relationship to be under strain," 18 Jan. 2018 New and radical groups like Black First Land First sprang up, holding public rallies to fulminate against whites. David Segal, New York Times, "How Bell Pottinger, P.R. Firm for Despots and Rogues, Met Its End in South Africa," 4 Feb. 2018 The same folks who praised Colin Kaepernick for kneeling for the American national anthem fulminated against Pence for staying seated to avoid honoring the North Korean regime. Ben Shapiro, National Review, "Why the Media Is Fawning over North Korea," 13 Feb. 2018 As for women, Moore was the Democrats’ jackpot — a supposedly religious conservative flamboyantly fulminating against immorality who was himself a child molester. Mona Charen, National Review, "For Republicans, a Reckoning Is Coming," 13 Dec. 2017 In the United States, this collaboration took the shameful form of GOP leaders who privately fulminated against Trump yet publicly stood by his side. Yascha Mounk, Slate Magazine, "Europeans secretly love Trump for confirming their own sense of superiority.," 26 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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.

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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

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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

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English Language Learners Definition of fulminate

formal : to complain loudly or angrily

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