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

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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 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 For these dads, focusing on the future their kids will hopefully inherit after all the pain is helping them through the winter tempest. Nic Garcia, Dallas News, 16 Feb. 2021 The idea of a transitional presidency implies a drawing of breath, a period of calm after the Trumpian tempest, America as a giant field hospital devoted to the binding of wounds. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, 10 Nov. 2020 In France, the dream is still of the voyage out, sails unfurled, on a roiling wave amid a permanent tempest. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 29 Oct. 2020 Hurricane Zeta ripped through the New Orleans area Wednesday evening with 100-plus mph winds, knocking out power to tens of thousands of storm- and pandemic-weary residents who took cover from yet another tropical tempest. Chad Calder | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, 28 Oct. 2020 Renatha Francis, whose appointment to the Florida Supreme Court produced a political and constitutional tempest, has withdrawn from consideration. Gray Rohrer, sun-sentinel.com, 11 Sep. 2020 Operating under harsh financial pressures, the ship likely left port ill-equipped to tussle with a tropical tempest, explains Barnette to USA Today’s Joel Shannon. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Feb. 2020

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, 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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Learn More About tempest

Time Traveler for tempest

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tempest

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tempest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tempest. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for tempest



English Language Learners Definition of tempest

literary : a violent storm


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


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