tem·​pes·​tu·​ous | \ tem-ˈpes-chə-wəs How to pronounce tempestuous (audio) , -ˈpesh- \

Definition of tempestuous

: of, relating to, or resembling a tempest : turbulent, stormy tempestuous weather a tempestuous relationship

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tempestuous

tempestuously adverb
tempestuousness noun

Did You Know?

Time is sometimes marked in seasons, and seasons are associated with the weather. This explains how "tempus," the Latin word for "time" could have given rise to an English adjective for things turbulent and stormy. "Tempus" is the root behind Old Latin tempestus, meaning "season," and Late Latin tempestuosus, the direct ancestor of "tempestuous." As you might expect, "tempus" is also the root of the noun "tempest"; it probably played a role in the history of "temper" as well, but that connection isn't definite.

Examples of tempestuous in a Sentence

order was restored to the court after the judge put a stop to the defendant's tempestuous outburst in terms of social change, the 1960s are generally considered the most tempestuous decade in recent American history
Recent Examples on the Web Alabama football provided common ground with his tempestuous father. New York Times, "Dabo Swinney Has a Vision to Sell You," 10 Jan. 2020 That would be the hounding of Johnson from the presidency and the ending of the most tempestuous love affair of his life: with the office itself. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "In ‘The Great Society,’ history marches numbingly on, and on, and on, and on," 2 Oct. 2019 The tweet marks a new turn in the tempestuous relationship between the tech giant and the White House. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Facial recognition gets another look on Capitol Hill today from skeptical lawmakers," 14 Jan. 2020 Such has been the tempestuous nature of the relationship that there had even been reports last year that Salah was ready to give up playing for his country following a series of rows with the Egyptian Football Association. Becky Anderson And James Masters, CNN, "Mohamed Salah is 'happy at Liverpool'; less so with the Egyptian FA," 19 Aug. 2019 Like Anchorage, other cities and companies have experienced tempestuous rollouts of SAP software programs. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage officials say there’s little legal recourse for software problems that cost the city millions," 24 Dec. 2019 Nor is anyone certain how history will remember this final chapter of Bevin’s tempestuous term in office. Richard A. Green, The Courier-Journal, "'Dig deep': Matt Bevin challenged us to scrutinize his pardons. We've done that and more," 20 Dec. 2019 Sometimes, this can be quite tricky for red dwarf stars, which are notoriously tempestuous and prone to erupting in massive flares. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "Two potentially life-friendly planets found orbiting a nearby star," 18 June 2019 Director Nicholas Ray’s amazing use of widescreen and color create a visual dimension to the explosion of tempestuous emotions. Streaming on Netflix. oregonlive, "Home viewing this week: ‘His Dark Materials,’ ‘Green Eggs and Ham,’ ‘Framing John DeLorean,’ ‘Hobbs & Shaw’," 8 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tempestuous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of tempestuous

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tempestuous

Middle English tempestuous, Latinization of tempestous, borrowed from Anglo-French, re-formation of Late Latin tempestuōsus, from tempestu-, probably extracted from Latin tempestūt-, tempestūs, archaic variant of tempestāt-, tempestās "stretch of time, season, weather, tempest entry 1" + -ōsus -ous

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tempestuous

Time Traveler for tempestuous

Time Traveler

The first known use of tempestuous was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about tempestuous

Statistics for tempestuous

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tempestuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tempestuous. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tempestuous


How to pronounce tempestuous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tempestuous

literary : affected by a tempest
: full of strong emotions (such as anger or excitement)


tem·​pes·​tu·​ous | \ tem-ˈpes-chə-wəs How to pronounce tempestuous (audio) \

Kids Definition of tempestuous

: very stormy

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on tempestuous

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!