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 Then, like a tulip unfurling in the morning, a thunderhead suddenly blossomed to the south. Noah Davis, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Aug. 2022 The quintuple-feature starred a towering thunderhead, a menacing shelf cloud, a vibrant rainbow, a glorious sunset and concluded with a fireball that shot across the night sky. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, 29 July 2022 Last Wednesday, though, conditions led to the creation of a larger, taller cloud called a pyrocumulonimbus, which is similar to a thunderhead. New York Times, 19 July 2021 Like a thunderhead, the huge cloud spawned lightning strikes, worrying firefighters because of their potential to start new fires., 20 July 2021 That looming thunderhead noted, the race does bring a nosegay of talent and some fine old masters at the game, among them, D. Wayne Lukas and Crowded House. Guy Martin, Forbes, 15 May 2021 Positively charged clouds rise, creating a tall cloud called a thunderhead. Rebecca Renner, National Geographic, 10 June 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of thunderhead

1843, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for thunderhead

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The first known use of thunderhead was in 1843

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Last Updated

18 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Thunderhead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for thunderhead


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


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