tem·​pest | \ ˈtem-pəst How to pronounce tempest (audio) \

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

Synonyms for tempest

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of tempest in a Sentence

Noun 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 While the bad weather soon subsides, Alex’s personal tempest has just begun. Los Angeles Times, 17 June 2021 Up there, that twin-cell tempest warps these field lines, pulling them through the upper atmosphere. Robin Andrews, Wired, 22 Feb. 2022 The District’s latest tempest over real estate pits a band of the Chevy Chase neighborhood residents against Maret, the elite private school, which is leasing five acres of land to build itself a cathedral for sport. Washington Post, 28 Nov. 2021 Acknowledge making it through more than a year of being buffeted, whether by strong breezes or by a hurricane-force tempest. Annette L. Stanton, STAT, 5 Sep. 2021 Before the Coronado-Orange Glen fiasco, the most notorious Southern California tortilla-tossing tempest was at a 1993 football playoff game between Newbury Park and Montebello high schools. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2021 Writers had operated in a tempest of information gathering from the FWP central office to produce it. Max Holleran, The New Republic, 15 June 2021 Haas sparked a minor tempest in a spit bucket in early April with a Twitter thread advising winery visitors not to rinse their glasses with water between tastes. Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2021 Now that the 2021 filing season has opened, people should be prepared for a tempest of tax issues, Collins said. Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2021 See More

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.

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, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Vulgar Latin *tempesta, replacing Latin tempestāt-, tempestās "stretch of time, period, season, weather, stormy weather," from tempes-, base of tempor-, tempus (alternative stem temper-) "time, period of time, season" + -tāt-, -tās, noun suffix — more at tempo

Note: The proto-Romance form *tempesta is probably a nominal derivative from the feminine of an adjective tempestus, cited by the Roman grammarian Sextus Pompeius Festus as an old variant of tempestīvus "in season, occurring at the proper time."

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

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Last Updated

24 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tempest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tempest. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for tempest


tem·​pest | \ ˈtem-pəst How to pronounce tempest (audio) \

Kids Definition of tempest

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

More from Merriam-Webster on tempest

Nglish: Translation of tempest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tempest for Arabic Speakers


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