thunder

noun
thun·​der | \ ˈthən-dər How to pronounce thunder (audio) \

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 How to pronounce thundering (audio) \

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

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Other Words from thunder

Verb

thunderer \ ˈthən-​dər-​ər How to pronounce thunderer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for thunder

Synonyms: Verb

bellow, boom, growl, roar

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Patients say what once felt like thunder and lightning is now more of a drizzle. Elizabeth Siegel, Allure, "Vaginal Rejuvenation Is on the Rise, But the Results Often Don't Live Up to the Hype," 27 Mar. 2019 Despite the howling gales and thunder and lightning, Zwart was able to land the plane safely after circling the airport for more than hour. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "8 Emergency Landings That Rival the 'Miracle on the Hudson'," 15 Jan. 2019 Certain gods are seen as capable of dispensing instant justice by striking offenders with thunder and lightning. Sam Olukoya, Fox News, "In Nigeria, voodoo festival shows strength of traditions," 27 Sep. 2018 The accident caused burns but also made Joe fearful of loud noises caused by fireworks, thunder and other sources. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "With 4th of July come warnings about dangers from fireworks," 28 June 2018 The weather, the rain, the thunder and lightning never ceasing. Peter Rock, New York Times, "On the Unsettling Allure of ‘Watership Down’," 15 May 2018 Suspend activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder. Gary Robbins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Lightning can cause wildfires — and death — in a flash," 8 July 2018 Confidence: Medium-High A LOOK AHEAD A flow of tropical moisture from the south on Wednesday means showers are possible at any time but most likely into the afternoon and early evening, when there may be some thunder as well. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: A sticky, stormy and very unsettled week," 14 May 2018 Samsung may be just days away from taking the wraps off its very own foldable smartphone-tablet hybrid, but consumer electronics company Royole has stolen a bit of its thunder with its very own flexible display device. Nick Statt, The Verge, "We tried the world’s first folding phone, and it actually works," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The new and improved Falcon Heavy thundered into the early evening sky with a communication satellite called Arabsat, the rocket’s first paying customer. Marcia Dunn, The Seattle Times, "SpaceX launches mega rocket, lands all 3 boosters," 14 Apr. 2019 Three Muslim clerics denounced Moghrabi in thundering sermons that circulated on Facebook; next came word that the Special Deterrence Force was coming to arrest her. Suliman Ali Zway, The Seattle Times, "In Libya, Facebook is used to buy arms, locate foes and kill them," 3 Sep. 2018 Helicopters thundered overhead, broadcasting the race live throughout the Netherlands. Outside Online, "Marianne Vos Is the Boss," 15 May 2018 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

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.

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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

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Statistics for thunder

Last Updated

14 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thunder

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

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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 How to pronounce thunder (audio) \

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.

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Comments on thunder

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