tor·​na·​do tȯr-ˈnā-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce tornado (audio)
plural tornadoes or tornados
: a violent destructive whirling wind accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud that progresses in a narrow path over the land
: a squall accompanying a thunderstorm in Africa
: a violent windstorm : whirlwind
archaic : a tropical thunderstorm

Examples of tornado in a Sentence

in the path of a tornado
Recent Examples on the Web The stadium was severely damaged by the tornado, especially the turf. Tony Holt, Arkansas Online, 6 Sep. 2023 Gregg Lewis, an architect and spokesman for the concrete association, said an ICF home, if constructed properly, should stand up to almost any hurricane or tornado. Lindsay Crudele,, 6 Sep. 2023 The hurricane center added that a few tornadoes will also be possible this morning in eastern North Carolina. Leigh Morgan, al, 31 Aug. 2023 Idalia also spawned a tornado that briefly touched down in the Charleston, South Carolina, suburb of Goose Creek, the National Weather Service said. CBS News, 31 Aug. 2023 The National Weather Service confirmed nearly a dozen tornado touchdowns in Northeast Ohio following the series of severe storms late last week, and thousands of northern Ohioans remain without power as of Tuesday afternoon. Want more Akron news? Megan Becka, cleveland, 29 Aug. 2023 Idalia is expected to spawn several tornadoes in northwestern Florida and the Interstate 95 corridor of South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia between Wednesday and Thursday, compounding the ordeal of those already dealing with storm impacts. Annie Gowen, Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2023 After severe thunderstorms and a record-breaking seven tornadoes ripped through central and southeast lower Michigan, more than 400,000 customers of DTE Energy and Consumers Energy reported power outages. Aurora Sousanis, Detroit Free Press, 28 Aug. 2023 Another danger is tornadoes, which typically are one of the dangers that develop as hurricanes make landfall. USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tornado.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


modification of Spanish tronada thunderstorm, from tronar to thunder, from Latin tonare — more at thunder entry 1

First Known Use

1556, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of tornado was in 1556

Dictionary Entries Near tornado

Cite this Entry

“Tornado.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


tor·​na·​do tȯr-ˈnād-ō How to pronounce tornado (audio)
plural tornadoes or tornados
: a violent destructive whirling wind accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud that moves in a narrow path over the land
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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