tem·​pest | \ˈtem-pəst \

Definition of tempest 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a violent storm

2 : tumult, uproar


tempested; tempesting; tempests

Definition of tempest (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to raise a tempest in or around

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Examples of tempest in a Sentence


the sudden summertime tempest drove us off the golf course and into the clubhouse the town council handled the tempest over cuts to the school budget as well as could be expected

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And watching with delight, cozied up in one of the old theater seats that dot the Globe’s outdoor Davies stage, is Kate Burton as Prospera, the sorcerer who has whipped up this tempest to shipwreck and bring rough justice to some old foes. James Hebert, sandiegouniontribune.com, "'Tempest' a satisfying whirl of wit and wizardry at Old Globe," 24 June 2018 But the arrests have caused a political tempest in Kosovo and have been criticized by human rights groups. Rick Gladstone, New York Times, "Turkish Secret Agents Seized 80 People in 18 Countries, Official Says," 5 Apr. 2018 The tempest over the foxes has coincided with a decision by state wildlife officials to take control of the beach area where the plovers nest after years of sharing oversight with the city. Rick Rojas, New York Times, "Trapping Foxes to Save Plovers Sets Off Showdown at Jersey Shore," 6 May 2018 This week’s tempest arises because a right-wing member of her governing coalition is trying to force her hand. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Merkel on the Edge," 18 June 2018 The whole thing was a tempest-in-a-tweetstorm that was also, as such squalls will sometimes be, revealing. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The Fourth Estate in the Age of Bad Faith," 15 June 2018 The tempest exposed the ambiguous treatment of gender issues in a country whose Constitution guarantees wide-ranging equalities that conflict with a high rate of rape and other violence against women. Alan Cowell, New York Times, "Seminude School Performance Sparks Debate About Tradition in South Africa," 2 June 2018 Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s retirement announcement has set off a political tempest as the question of his successor is considered. NBC News, "Why this SCOTUS candidate could reverse a century of financial regulation," 2 July 2018 There were tall trees, ninety-nine shades of green, this very observant child-woman with a dad who has a tempest in him. Caryn James, WSJ, "A Return to the Spotlight for ‘Winter’s Bone’ Director," 20 June 2018

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tempest


Middle English tempeste, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *tempesta, alteration of Latin tempestas season, weather, storm, from tempus time

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Statistics for tempest

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tempest

The first known use of tempest was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for tempest



English Language Learners Definition of tempest

: a violent storm


tem·​pest | \ˈtem-pəst \

Kids Definition of tempest

1 : a strong wind often accompanied by rain, hail, or snow

2 : uproar

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More from Merriam-Webster on tempest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tempest

Spanish Central: Translation of tempest

Nglish: Translation of tempest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tempest for Arabic Speakers

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a private place of worship

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