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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Synonyms for tempest

Synonyms: Noun

squall, storm

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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

Embattled Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the tempest in a teacup of the Trump White House, resigned on Wednesday, a move announced in a tweet from his boss. Vogue, "Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resigns; the Internet Reacts," 7 Nov. 2018 Yet lost in the resulting tempest is a crucial fact that appears to contradict this spin: Mr. Trump had to waive executive privilege for Mr. McGahn to cooperate with Mr. Mueller. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump Waives the Privilege," 19 Aug. 2018 But the same seas that brought the huddled masses and tempest-tost also buffeted the islands with brutal regularity. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "Fluid Dynamics," 27 May 2014 The storm's historic rainfall brought an assault on the region's infrastructure and killed 44 people, but with the waters finally receding, an unexpected consequence of the tempest has revealed itself. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Hurricane Florence Leaves Thousands of Dead, Rotting Fish on Highway," 24 Sep. 2018 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

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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Time Traveler for tempest

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

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English Language Learners Definition of tempest

literary : 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

Comments on tempest

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


very full or close together

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