fulminate

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verb

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

transitive verb

: to utter or send out with denunciation
fulminate a decree

intransitive verb

: to send forth censures or invectives
fulminating against government regulatorsMark Singer
fulmination noun

fulminate

2 of 2

noun

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

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—it is struck from fulmen, Latin for "lightning." When fulminate was taken up by English speakers 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. In time, its original lightning spark returned, describing intense strikes of a tirade.

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
At that moment of high drama, one environmental protester in the audience after another got to their feet and began to fulminate about the climate. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2024 Elon Musk has spent months fulminating against diversity, equity, and inclusion and, at times, promoting far-right theories, like The Great Replacement, on his platform X, formerly known as Twitter. Ruth Umoh, Fortune, 20 Mar. 2024 In countries like Hungary, nationalists, warning that their own people risk fading away and being replaced by outsiders, have fulminated against immigrants, despite severe labor shortages. Andrew Higgins Vladimir Zivojinovic, New York Times, 28 Feb. 2024 There was much fulminating in the political/media hot-take foundries about the validity of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution in the weeks leading up to today’s hearing. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 4 Apr. 2023 In a statement released shortly after news of his indictment broke, the former president raged and fulminated at his persecutors. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 31 Mar. 2023 Elon Musk famously fulminated about the horrific violent crime in San Francisco and the attackers who get set free. Alexei Oreskovic, Fortune, 14 Apr. 2023 All this has reduced the DeSantis camp to fulminating powerlessly. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2023 Democrats were still fulminating (legitimately) about that when Biden signed the IRA into law, so the press mostly ignored the buyback tax’s creation. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 7 Mar. 2023
Noun
According to salvage expert Curt Newport, who recovered Liberty Bell 7 in 1999, the detonator percussion caps that served as a triggering mechanism likely contained mercury fulminate. Andy Saunders, Discover Magazine, 21 July 2021 Silver fulminate is an incredibly reactive explosive. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 30 June 2022 While Washington fulminates, progress toward an RCEP is gradually moving the world’s economic center of gravity into Beijing’s orbit. Washington Post, 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, 10 Jan. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fulminate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

Noun

fulminic acid, from Latin fulmin-, fulmen

First Known Use

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

1824, in the meaning defined above

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

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Dictionary Entries Near fulminate

Cite this Entry

“Fulminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fulminate. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

fulminate

verb
ful·​mi·​nate
ˈfu̇l-mə-ˌnāt,
ˈfəl-
fulminated; fulminating
: to utter loud or forceful complaints or strong or violent language
fulmination
ˌfu̇l-mə-ˈnā-shən
ˌfəl-
noun
fulminator
ˈfu̇l-mə-ˌnāt-ər
ˈfəl-
noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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