tor·​rent | \ ˈtȯr-ənt How to pronounce torrent (audio) , ˈtär-\

Definition of torrent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a tumultuous outpouring : rush
2 : a violent stream of a liquid (such as water or lava)
3 : a channel of a mountain stream



Definition of torrent (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for torrent

Synonyms: Noun

alluvion, bath, cataclysm, cataract, deluge, flood, flood tide, inundation, Niagara, overflow, spate

Antonyms: Noun

drought (also drouth)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of torrent in a Sentence


The storm turned the stream into a raging torrent. The rain came down in torrents.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This comes after a torrent of leaks revealing what the devices look like and what the specs are, in addition to a look at a test device out in the wild when it was left in the backseat of a cab. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL leak yet again," 24 Sep. 2018 That torrent is poisoning aquatic life and tainting water supplies in Montana, California, Colorado, Oklahoma and at least five other states. Matthew Brown, The Seattle Times, "50M gallons of polluted water pours daily from US mine sites," 20 Feb. 2019 Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan's decision to settle a lawsuit over the state's voter-registration rules has triggered a torrent of criticism from Steve Gaynor, her opponent in the Aug. 28 Republican primary. Dustin Gardiner, azcentral, "Republican secretary of state candidates spar over Arizona's voter-registration rules," 6 July 2018 In response, Grande shut off her Instagram comments due to the torrent of abuse aimed at her. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Ariana Grande Just Posted a Tribute to Ex-Boyfriend Mac Miller Following His Death," 8 Sep. 2018 That support is what prompted a torrent of outrage — from the public, community groups and the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild — when Best was omitted in May from the list of three finalists for the permanent chief’s job. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "For candidate Carmen Best, ‘nothing more important to me than being chief in Seattle’," 12 July 2018 The dam’s collapse unleashed a torrent of sludge that swallowed an employee cafeteria, offices and nearby homes. Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ, "After Brazil Tragedy, Mining Firms Call for New Oversight of Waste Dams," 25 Feb. 2019 Despite a torrent of allegations, no evidence has surfaced that Chalupa or the DNC did anything wrong. Murray Waas, Vox, "Exclusive: Paul Manafort advised White House on how to attack and discredit investigation of President Trump," 14 Dec. 2018 Meteorologists say that the intense rainfall that provoked the torrent wasn’t particularly extraordinary for the period. Colleen Barry, The Seattle Times, "Search called off in Italy gorge flood that killed 10," 21 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'torrent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of torrent


1582, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1667, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for torrent


Middle French, from Latin torrent-, torrens, from torrent-, torrens, adjective, burning, seething, rushing, from present participle of torrēre to parch, burn — more at thirst

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about torrent

Statistics for torrent

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for torrent

The first known use of torrent was in 1582

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for torrent



English Language Learners Definition of torrent

: a large amount of water that moves very quickly in one direction
: a large amount of something that is released suddenly


tor·​rent | \ ˈtȯr-ənt How to pronounce torrent (audio) \

Kids Definition of torrent

1 : a rushing stream of liquid
2 : a large amount of something especially that is released suddenly a torrent of rain The mice came out in a torrent.— Robert McCloskey, Homer Price

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on torrent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with torrent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for torrent

Spanish Central: Translation of torrent

Nglish: Translation of torrent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of torrent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on torrent

What made you want to look up torrent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!