thunder

noun
thun·​der | \ ˈthən-dər \

Definition of thunder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the sound that follows a flash of lightning and is caused by sudden expansion of the air in the path of the electrical discharge
2 : bang, rumble the thunder of big guns
3 : a loud utterance or threat

thunder

verb
thundered; thundering\ ˈthən-​d(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of thunder (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to produce thunder usually used impersonally it thundered
b : to give forth a sound that resembles thunder horses thundered down the road
2 : roar, shout

transitive verb

1 : to utter loudly : roar
2 : to strike with a sound likened to thunder

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from thunder

Verb

thunderer \ ˈthən-​dər-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for thunder

Synonyms: Verb

bellow, boom, growl, roar

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of thunder in a Sentence

Noun

Her dog is afraid of thunder. Lightning flashed and thunder boomed. Suddenly there was a loud clap of thunder. We could hear the rumble of thunder in the distance. the thunder of horses' hooves the distant thunder of cannon fire She accepted the award to a thunder of applause.

Verb

The sky thundered and the rain poured down. It was raining and thundering all night. Guns thundered in the distance. Horses thundered down the road. Trucks thundered past on the highway. “How dare you come into my house!” he thundered.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Just seconds after liftoff, the rocket’s engine stopped producing thrust and crashed to Earth along with any hope of stealing the Soviet’s thunder. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Saturn V Story: From Nazi Roots to America's Moon Rocket," 6 Feb. 2019 The team that selects him — quite possibly with a top-five pick in a draft that remains focused on quarterbacks — will send a volley cheer on high, shake down the thunder from the sky. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "Will a guard be drafted in the top 5? If so, Quenton Nelson won't make it to the Bears," 22 Mar. 2018 Showers and thunder could occur almost anytime; but late morning to around the evening commute could see the highest chance — and heaviest — of rain activity. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s mockery of the #MeToo movement underscores the GOP’s problem with women in 2018," 6 July 2018 Pick from six sounds: rain, brook, ocean, thunder, white noise, or summer night. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "I Can’t Sleep Without My Big Red Rooster White Noise Machine," 11 Jan. 2019 There’s little thunder, no off-piste mental excursions, no sense of a writer stropping his razor. New York Times, "Struggling to Love, Work and Do the Right Thing in Putin’s Russia," 9 July 2018 Zorn’s saxophone and Laswell’s bass are elemental forces — like lightning and thunder — visceral, tangible and looking to touch a nerve. Joshua Zucker, SFChronicle.com, "John Zorn and Bill Laswell make rare duo appearance at the Chapel," 11 July 2018 Holiday firework displays were rescheduled after Mother Nature staged her own show Wednesday night in the form of lightning and thunder. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Fireworks rescheduled in south suburbs after storms," 5 July 2018 Golden State put a bit of a damper on that LeBron to the Lakers thunder on Monday night. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Upset Dodgers broadcaster caught on camera after hearing of DeMarcus Cousins' deal," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With air raid sirens wailing throughout southern Israel and the explosions of airstrikes thundering in Gaza, the sides had appeared to be headed to what would have been their fourth war in a decade. Fares Akram, The Seattle Times, "Cease-fire takes hold between Israel and Hamas," 13 Nov. 2018 In 2011, Atlantis thundered into orbit on a cargo run that would close out the three-decade U.S. space shuttle program. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 8 July 2018 Bison, or buffalo, once thundered across the heart of North America in the tens of millions. Washington Post, "North Dakota author details comeback of American buffalo," 17 June 2018 On a recent glorious evening when the Red Sox went ahead 3-2 just an inning before, the ballpark thundered, so good, so good . . . Dugan Arnett, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Sweet Caroline’? To some fans, the longstanding tradition is no good (no good, no good)," 14 May 2018 The bomber in the video is apparently the second plane in a two-ship formation (the first aircraft is briefly visible on the ground, and a smoke trail is visible in front as our bomber thunders down the runway). Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a B-52 Bomber Take Off From Guam on a Practice Bombing Run," 5 Sep. 2018 And the orchestral score, with particular emphasis on floaty woodwinds, choral arrangements, and thundering drums, preserves the fantasy-battling tone of a good Dota 2 session while also dialing back on drama or bombast. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Exclusive: Valve walks us through Artifact’s new demo, leaves us wanting more," 31 Aug. 2018 Despite carbon-dioxide suppression and water-misting equipment, the fire spread to a garage area, where cars burned and explosions thundered. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "NTSB: Puerto Rico ship fire revealed maintenance problems, poor crew training," 5 June 2018 In a statement released Monday Jarrett said that Knight, who thundered onto the Houston restaurant scene with Feast and later distinguished himself at his own Hunky Dory restaurant, has left to focus on his family and filmmaking. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Harold’s in Heights loses its new chef," 4 June 2018

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for thunder

Noun

Middle English thoner, thunder, from Old English thunor; akin to Old High German thonar thunder, Latin tonare to thunder

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about thunder

Statistics for thunder

Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thunder

The first known use of thunder was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for thunder

thunder

noun

English Language Learners Definition of thunder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the very loud sound that comes from the sky during a storm : the sound that follows a flash of lightning
: a loud noise that sounds like thunder

thunder

verb

English Language Learners Definition of thunder (Entry 2 of 2)

: to produce thunder
: to make a loud sound like the sound of thunder
: to move in a way that makes a very loud sound

thunder

noun
thun·​der | \ ˈthən-dər \

Kids Definition of thunder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the loud sound that follows a flash of lightning
2 : a loud noise the thunder of drums

thunder

verb
thundered; thundering

Kids Definition of thunder (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to produce thunder
2 : to make a loud sound
3 : roar entry 1 sense 1, shout The audience thundered its approval.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on thunder

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

WORD OF THE DAY

excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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