thun·​der·​head | \ ˈthən-dər-ˌhed How to pronounce thunderhead (audio) \

Definition of thunderhead

: a rounded mass of cumulus or cumulonimbus cloud often appearing before a thunderstorm

Examples of thunderhead in a Sentence

A thunderhead was forming to the west.
Recent Examples on the Web The impending doom of the 2021 CBA expiration will hang over the game like a thunderhead. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "MLB’s miserable week of snarky negotiations leads to new marketing campaign: The less, the better," 14 June 2020 Positively charged clouds rise, creating a tall cloud called a thunderhead. Rebecca Renner, National Geographic, "Don’t let children just watch the weather—have them create it instead.," 10 June 2020 Away to the west thunderheads parted theatrically to reveal additional islands moored in distant anchorages of sun. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Remote Solomon Islands Are a Diver's Paradise in the South Pacific," 22 May 2020 The thunderhead of smoke, a purple lesion on the orange twilight, is mysterious but not alarming. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "California will never stop burning," 4 Nov. 2019 This phenomenon plays an important role in creating the earth’s (increasingly unstable) weather systems, which the show captured using time-lapses of thunderheads. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Next-Gen Outdoor Innovations We're Watching," 1 Nov. 2019 The show can’t avoid some chilling moments: Richard Misrach’s eerie picture, of a dark thunderhead looming over the rusty pilings that barricade the border between Mexico and the United States, seethes with apocalyptic dread., "Through Jan. 5. Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge.," 13 Sep. 2019 Towering thunderheads may be commonplace closer to the equator this time of year, but just 300 miles from the North Pole? Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Rare Lightning Strikes Detected 300 Miles From North Pole," 14 Aug. 2019 Dr Price suspects that in his experiment the surface of the inner cylinder is taking on the role played in a thunderhead by water’s solid phase, ice. The Economist, "How to wring power from the night air," 1 Aug. 2019

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

1843, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for thunderhead

Time Traveler

The first known use of thunderhead was in 1843

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Statistics for thunderhead

Last Updated

18 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thunderhead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for thunderhead


How to pronounce thunderhead (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of thunderhead

chiefly US : a very large cloud appearing before a thunderstorm


thun·​der·​head | \ ˈthən-dər-ˌhed How to pronounce thunderhead (audio) \

Kids Definition of thunderhead

: a rounded mass of dark cloud with white edges often appearing before a thunderstorm

More from Merriam-Webster on thunderhead

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thunderhead

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