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

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 Walmart isn't going to let Prime Day steal their thunder, that's for sure. Allure, "The Best Sales This Week That Are Not Amazon Prime Day," 17 July 2018 The weather event in which thunder and lightning occur during a snowstorm was most recently spotted during November’s Winter Storm Bruce. Megan Stein, Country Living, "What Is Thundersnow? Everything to Know About the Rare Weather Phenomenon," 26 Nov. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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

16 Apr 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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